Owen Taylor, Editor
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In Georgia, soybean harvest has started or will begin shortly in early planted indeterminate varieties. Based on feedback from the field this year, more acres in the state went into MG IV beans planted, mostly planted in early May. It’s not a huge part of the crop. But after seeing some well publicized yield gains with early planting dates, more farmers are taking a shot with this approach.
More soybean harvest is underway in the Midsouth. In many cases farmers are seeing some fall off in averages compared to the last couple of years. The decline is being blamed on weather – some effect from a wet, cold start and/or the intense heat in July and into August.
Corn harvest has been moving farther north. Yield reports are mixed – average to better in the Southeast but somewhat off in the Midsouth.
Grain sorghum harvest continues. At least in the Delta states, averages are somewhat disappointing, partly due to weather conditions. Sugarcane aphids (SCA) remain a factor. Farmers and crop advisors are still grappling with whether to treat late SCA populations or gamble that they can move grain out of the field before aphids generate enough honeydew to clog combines. Some doubleropped dryland sorghum in North Carolina has been abandoned. Low yield potential this year didn’t justify the cost of treating SCA. See comments by Dominic Reisig.
Here are quick harvest reports from this week’s full edition of AgFax Southern Grain:
Brandon Phillips, Phillips Ag Services, LLC, Fitzgerald, Georgia: “This has been a really good corn year. Irrigated averages have run 210 to 260 bu/acre. Harvest aids started going on early beans, and some irrigated MG 4.9 indeterminates probably will be cut this week. Extension folks looked at that acreage and said it could average about 70 bu/acre. Frogeye leaf spot has developed in places and we’ve been taking proactive measures. We’ve had to spray twice in certain MG VII beans.”
Trent LaMastus, Consultant, Cleveland, Mississippi: “We’re into soybean harvest and are desiccating a lot more fields. By Wednesday (9/2) all of my corn should be out. Most yields are off by 15 to 20 bu/acre. An occasional field is right at average but we aren’t hitting any of those dramatic yields we’ve seen in recent years. Heavy rains early in the season account for the biggest part of the yield decline and maybe the intense heat was a factor in our later corn.
“Soybean yields are really good on a lot of acres so far. Some dryland yields will amount to nearly nothing while other non-irrigated fields will cut 40 to 50 bu/acre. In at least a couple of cases, irrigated beans hit triple digits. Those seem to be cases where a specific variety was matched with a certain soil type. But we’re also cutting a lot in the high 70s to mid 90s.”
Larry Walker, Walker Cotton Technical Services, Flintville, Tennessee: “A few late MG III soybeans have been harvested (as of 9/2). Doublecrop beans look really good. They’re still adding pods. Corn harvest started to a small degree. Rain over the last weekend (8/29-30) held it up some. Our grain sorghum is at 20% to 22% moisture. Sugarcane aphids (SCA) are evident in places, although I don’t think they will develop into an issue before we start harvesting. We got up to 4 inches of rain a couple of weeks ago, plus this last rain, and all of that washed off a lot of honeydew, plus some aphids. Also, plenty of adult and immature ladybugs have taken up residence in grain sorghum.”
Travis Vallee, CenLa Ag Services, Pineville, Louisiana: “Some soybean harvest is underway. We’re done with grain sorghum. It wasn’t very good, maybe 75 to 100 bu/acre averages. Yields mostly varied according to how much water damage fields sustained early from rain and flooding. We had a good corn crop and most farms averaged 175 to 195 bu/acre. It rained enough that we never irrigated where we have that option. The best yields, in fact, came from sandy soils where corn would normally burn up.”
Jack Royal, Royal’s Agricultural Consulting Co., Inc., Leary, Georgia: “Maybe one grower has 600 acres of corn left (as of 9/1). Otherwise, we’re finished. This was a super excellent crop. Several growers averaged 240 to 260 bu/acre farm wide. We have soybeans that are ready for a desiccant where we planted MG IV varieties in the first part of May. We would have made the application on Monday (8/31) but decided last week to hold off until we saw what the storm (Erika) did. Those beans look good, and we have high hopes for them.”
John Stobaugh, Stobaugh Cotton Consulting, Inc., McGehee, Arkansas: “All of our corn has gone to the river. On better soils the yields were average. On mixed soils the yields came in 10 to 15 bushels an acre less than what we averaged last year. Soybeans are winding down and a few acres are being cut. Soybean yields are really good so far.”
Eddy Cates, Cates Agritech Inc., Marion, Arkansas: “A few farmers are just getting into corn harvest. Yields I’ve heard range from 187 to 210 bu/acre. That’s not quite as high as we normally see but it’s still good corn. Milo yields have ranged from 112 to 140 bu/acre. A lot of that variation gets back to cold, wet weather that stressed and held back our early fields. Soil type would be another factor.”
Dan Fromme, Louisiana Extension Cotton And Corn Specialist: “We’re 95%-plus finished with corn harvest. Yields seem to have mostly been in the 172 to 176 bu/acre range, and I expect the state average to fall somewhere around 170. The state average in the last two years was 186 and 182, so we’ll be off some but will still have a good crop. Grain sorghum harvest has wrapped up. A lot of this crop fell in the range of 100 to 110 bu/acre. The biggest limiting factor was too much rain early, plus the extended fight we had with sugarcane aphids.”
Justin Ballew, Agronomy Agent, Dillon County, Clemson University, South Carolina: “The vast majority of our corn has been harvested and I’ve heard a wide range of yields. On sandier ground, dryland corn was awful in places. The lowest average I’ve heard was 15 bu/acre. But most dryland yields were surprisingly good, considering the season, from 120 to 140. One irrigated yield was at or close to 300.”
Wayne Dulaney, Dulaney Seed Co., Clarksdale, Mississippi: “We’re cutting a few dryland soybeans around the farm and applied paraquat on some Saturday (8/29). In another 5 to 10 days a lot of soybeans will be coming out of the field in our area. Yields so far have been in the mid 40s (bu/acre). Farmers in the area are still harvesting a fair amount of corn. Yields are off. Some isn’t cutting good at all while other fields are running 185 to 210 bu/acre. Yields fell into the 160 to 175 range on any ground where plants stressed early or late. Subsoiling made a big difference this year. Putting out a significant amount of phosphorous at planting also got us through that cold, wet May weather, it seems.
“That early cold period crippled crops in general. Any soybeans in the MG 4.2 to MG 4.7 range only had 13 nodes of growth compared to 17 with good conditions and up to 22 or 23 when everything falls into place. Grain sorghum is averaging about 120 bu/acre, although we were shooting for higher. I guess we ought to be happy with what we did cut because I’m hearing a lot of averages around 100, including irrigated fields.”
Curtis Fox, Consultant, Gillette, Arkansas: “A friend sent me a text that said the ‘glory days’ with soybeans are over. He was joking, of course, and was still cutting 70 bu/acre beans but not the 85 to 90 bu/acre yields he’s had in the last couple of years. It’s nothing terrible but nothing phenomenal, either.
“By the end of the week we should be finished with corn harvest. Everybody is pleased with corn yields. Averages aren’t as good as they’ve been in recent years, but corn yields are a bright spot compared to the yield declines we’ve seen in rice. If a farmer is drying over 200 bu/acre corn, he should be happy.”
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