It was not a record-setting year like 2014, but this year’s harvested corn and soybeans were good.
Yields depend on field drainage, the amount of rain and soil type, said Ed Lentz, Ohio State University agriculture and nature resources educator.
While there have been reports of 90 bushels per acre to 200 bushels per acre for corn, Lentz said the average range has been 146-158 bushels per acre. The northern portion of the county generally received the higher yields.
There were heavy rains in June and July, but once the rain stopped, the temperature remained in the upper 70s to low 80s, so the gradual warm-up kept the crop roots from being shocked, he has said.
However, the rain caused some stunted corn areas, with short and yellow stalks. There was also uneven growth among rows in some fields. But other fields “have very good corn,” he said. The high humidity and wet conditions caused some diseases in the corn, including northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot. But while there were pockets of problems, there were no major disease issues or concerns countywide, he said, and the few issues present did not affect overall yields.
The weather for the fall harvest was good, he said, with several weeks of light or no rain allowing farmers to complete the work as both corn and soybean fields were drier, but not too dry. There was little “dry down” cost for the farmer when crop was taken to the grain elevators, either.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated corn production this year of 13.7 billion bushels was down 4 percent from last year’s record of more than 14 billion bushels. If the figure holds, it would be the third highest U.S. annual production.
Meanwhile, estimated soybean production of 3.92 billion bushels was down 1 percent from last year.
Average corn and soybean yields for Hancock County, estimates reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 2014, included 193.3 bushels of corn per acre and 54.2 bushels of soybeans per acre.
At Heritage Cooperative, Arlington branch, Robin Roth, grain accountant, said corn harvest ranged from 80-180 bushels per acre, with an average of 100 bushels per acre. The soybean harvest ranged from 25 to 60 bushels per acre with an average of 40 bushels per acre.
“The high-end yields being few and far between and with the majority of those higher yields coming from the area’s northern region,” she said.
“It was definitely a strange harvest, very dry and very quick,” she said, and there were no issues with significant disease this year, although there was some corn cob rot.
Roth said the average test weight for corn was 57.4 pounds per bushel and average moisture content was 16.6 percent. The price farmers receive is reduced when corn average test weight is below 54 pounds per bushel, or the moisture content exceeds 15 percent.
It was not a bumper crop for soybeans, Lentz said, but there were a lot of 50-bushel per acre fields. The range was low 30s to upper 50s, with some fields providing yields of low 60s.
At Heritage Cooperative, Roth said the average test for soybeans was 56.5 pounds per bushel and the average moisture content was 12.3 percent. The price farmers receive is reduced when soybeans average test weight is below 54 pounds per bushel, or the moisture content exceeds 13 percent.
The beans suffered in June and July, but recovered during the flowering stage in August, with timely rains, Lentz said.
Some plants were scrawny and bean size was stunted during the two rainy months, but overall, the crop was good.
The wet conditions made it difficult to plant soybeans after the July wheat harvest, a practice known as “double cropping.” Those farmers who did saw low yields, Roth said.
Statewide, northwestern Ohio was in a good area for crop production this year, Lentz said. There were more difficult conditions north and west where there were areas with no crops or poor crops because of the weather conditions, he said.
“It was a tough year,” Lentz said. “Yields were all over, prices are lower” and input costs continue to fluctuate.
Meanwhile, there may have been a few thousand additional acres of wheat planted this fall, Lentz said. Wheat acres planted and harvested have been lower in recent years with higher prices for corn and soybeans.
It was a difficult start for the wheat plant, Lentz said, because of the dry conditions, but the last week of October provided some relief with about an inch of rain and additional rain was forecast for the first few weeks of November. The price for wheat is up slightly, too.
Farmers who waited to plant wheat, unsure if they would have time after the soybean harvest, have received a string of warm early November days, warm soil temperatures and sufficient moisture, so “the later planted wheat may be OK because of the conditions,” Lentz said. “It is a good situation for the wheat crop.”
Normally, Hancock County farmers plant about 40,000 acres of wheat each fall. But in recent years the amount has dropped to 20,000 to 25,000 acres, mainly because of higher prices for corn and soybeans.
Corn prices this year are up with December delivery at $3.79 per bushel, up 32 cents per bushel from about the same time last year. The soybean price for January delivery was $8.83, down about $1.24 per bushel from last year, according to Nov. 5 information from Heritage Cooperative.
But those figures are much lower than 2012 peak prices, Lentz said. Then corn was $7.31 per bushel and soybeans were $15.22 per bushel.
(Source – http://thecourier.com/local-news/2015/11/06/good-corn-bean-harvest-reported/)