MOUNT VERNON — In the spring, planting was delayed because of too much rain. Now, when it’s time for harvest, rain is delaying things again.
Knox County Extension Educator John Barker said the rain the past couple weeks has interrupted the harvest, but as soon as the fields dry out again “we’ll see empty fields all over.”
Soybeans are about one-third harvested, Barker said, with corn a little less, maybe 20 to 25 percent.
Statewide, as of Oct. 23, the soybean crop was 42 percent harvested and the corn crop 14 percent harvested. That’s behind most years. In 2010, soybeans were 88 percent harvested by Oct. 23 and corn 75 percent harvested. The average over the past five years is for soybeans to be 76 percent harvested by this time and corn to be 41 percent harvested.
Despite the late planting this year, the yields so far appear to be “surprisingly good,” Barker said. “We had timely rains here in Knox County and the heat helped. We still had a few holes in some fields, but it’s looking real good.”
Southern Ohio was able to plant a little earlier, so the harvest there is farther along, but yields here are higher, Barker observed.
In addition to the fields drying out enough to get equipment in, some of the corn still needs to dry some more. The moisture content of some corn still in the fields is a little high. It would be best to let it finish drying in the fields as drying it after harvest will increase the cost of production.
“We’ve had really good harvests here the last two years,” Barker said. “We’re not at those levels but the harvest is a lot better than we expected back in May.”
The delay in harvest may also affect the coming winter wheat crop. Usually, most of that is planted about now, but since so many fields have not yet been cleared of their corn and soybean crops, “we will probably see fewer wheat fields coming up next year.”
That, of course, could affect the overall yield.