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With wheat now in, attention turns to corn

Staff writer

With most wheat cut and stored, depressed prices and corn development are at the forefront of farmers’ thoughts.

Cooperative Grain and Supply CEO Lyman Adams said they took in 2.3 million bushels at its Hillsboro, Marion, Lehigh, Canada, and Canton elevators.

“We’ve had a glut, and the market is reflecting it,” Adams said. “We’re in what’s called a ‘push market.’ There is not as much demand. You have to push the grain into the market instead of having people come to you.”

Phil Timken, location manager for Mid-Kansas Coop Association in Peabody said this years’ harvest was above average and better than last year.

“Everyone was happy with yields but depressed with the prices,” Timken said.

Extension agent Rickey Roberts agreed.

“We had a really good wheat crop this year,” he said. “But we’re still not sure if anyone will make any money, and that’s discouraging.”

With prices down, marketing becomes key.

Much of the wheat Cooperative Grain and Supply took in this year went through its Canton location, where a train loader helps CGS market crops.

“We’re part of a grain alliance,” Adams said. “The train loader has proved to be an effective marketing tool in this market.”

As for corn, a late August or early September harvest is likely, according to Timken, but first the corn needs to finish pollinating.

“It’s starting to pollinate now,” he said. “I think it could potentially be a good crop if the ears fill out like they should.”

A Newton resident, Timken has noticed a significant difference between corn near Newton, Walton, and Peabody.

“Walton and Newton had some rain we didn’t get,” Timken said. “Our corn was behind because of a lack of moisture and the heat we had there for a while. Corn doesn’t pollinate well when it gets above 100 degrees.”

Roberts said corn had “perked up” lately because of recent moisture.

“It was awfully hot and dry,” Roberts said. “The corn leaves were rolling up so much that they started looking a little like pineapple plants; it’s the plants’ defense mechanism.

“Now, it’s looking better than it did two weeks ago. It’s not as hot, and we want all the moisture we can get. Both corn and soybeans are sucking a lot of moisture right now.”

Timken estimated that corn uses an inch of water a day when ears are forming.

Two weeks of hot, humid weather took its toll, Adams said, but weather with more moisture helped corn pollinate.

“The overall condition is fair to good,” Adams said, “but we are in that weather-alert stage where weather will have a dramatic effect, either plus or minus, depending on what happens.”

Last modified July 6, 2016

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