Corn harvest reports a mixed bag
As corn prices surge, the condition of the crop varied widely around the state, according to reports by Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.
Where drought conditions ruled, dryland corn generally suffered, according to this week’s reports from AgriLife Extension county agents. But irrigated corn was in trouble as well in some areas, such as the Rolling Plains, as later-planted fields went into their peak water usage stage and well water levels dropped.
In the Panhandle, it was a mixed bag, with some agents reporting the crop to be in fair condition while others said it was stressed. Some dryland fields had already been abandoned.
In North and Central Texas, the reports were more positive, despite triple-digit temperatures and generally dry conditions.
“The corn harvest is starting with yields ranging from 50 to 110 bushels per acre,” said Shane McLellan, AgriLife Extension agent in McLennan County, south of Fort Worth. “The milo harvest is nearly complete with good yields ranging from 3,500 to 6,000 pounds per acre.”
Jared Ripple, AgriLife Extension agent in Williamson County north of Austin, reported most corn there had been harvested and aflatoxin levels were generally low.
Reports from North Texas were similar. Wayne Becker, AgriLife Extension agent in Cooke County, north of Dallas, said all but a few fields had been harvested. The corn harvest there came early thanks to a timely rain that helped mature the crop, followed by hot weather that promoted a quick dry down.
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries for July 31-Aug. 6:
AgriLife Extension district reporters for the Southwest District, including Wilson, Gonzales, Guadalupe, and Bexar counties, reported typical hot summer temperatures prevailed, and there was little to no rain. Pastures that were green a week ago are now brown with no growth. The corn, sorghum, and milo harvests were nearly over with good yields reported. Cotton was opening bolls. Irrigated forages made good progress. The pecan crop was heavy, and producers were shaking trees to reduce nut load on limbs.
AgriLife Extension district reporters for the Coastal Bend District, including Karnes County, reported hot and humid weather prevailed. Some scattered showers were reported, but accumulations were mostly very low. The corn, grain sorghum, and cotton harvests were well under way, with significant yield variation within individual fields. One corn producer reported a field’s yields varying from 30 to 90 bushels per acre. Producers who had already harvested cotton were shredding stalks or plowing fields. Soybeans were making and filling pods. Producers were making hay on pastures that received rain earlier. Cattle remained in fair condition with continued supplemental feeding.Robert Burns has nearly 30 years’ experience writing about agriculture and agricultural-related research. He writes about Texas AgriLife Research and Texas AgriLife Extension Service activities at the Overton Center and centers in Stephenville and Temple.