Area beans reflecting benefit of late summer rains
Following an extended drought for the first half of the summer, Jeff Lehman, of Lehman Feed Mill, says that the change to a more rainy pattern in late July offered perfect moisture to jump start beans to production of what could be above average yields this fall.
"We got five inches of rain the last 10 days of July and then unbelievably, seven inches in August," said Lehman. "Who would have thought that something like that was going to happen? We can really thank the Lord for hearing our prayers. I think we are going to have better crops this fall than we ever thought that we would."
Lehman said that all indications are that area bean harvest will range between the 50s and low 60s bushel per acre yield. Lehman said that he also anticipates more corn yields of 120 bushels per acre or better than he would have thought early in July.
"With the rain we've had now and with plenty of sunshine predicted, I think that we will get fields dried off enough by Monday to start harvest more in earnest," said Lehman. "Over the next 10 days, we're going to see a lot of beans coming off. The rain that we had over the last couple of days will help even out some of the beans."
Lehman said that rainfall over the past couple of days has ranged from 1.8 inches in the local area to 2.5 inches around Bryant, with much lighter amounts in the northern part of the county.
"By Monday the beans should be in good shape. We should see a lot of harvest taking place," stressed Lehman.
"If we keep up with dry weather, a lot of wheat is going to get sown," Lehman added. "We're going to see a good increase in acreage, more than we've seen for a long time. Wheat planting is going to be a good 10 percent or more from last year."
Corn yield will depend on soil type, Lehman said. Overall, area farmers will be seeing a slightly better corn crop than what they had anticipated.
"There's no doubt that the late corn got pollinated better and is going to produce a better yield," said Lehman. "A lot of the worst corn got chopped off earlier."
Lehman also noted that hay cutting has been catching up with what is needed.
"The guys are getting some good cuttings and some good yields," Lehman said.
"What we are getting now will help make up for some of the loss of hay earlier."
Weather specialist Rick McCoy said that all indications in the extended forecast are that temperatures will be slightly below average through the middle of October with precipitation just slightly above average.
"However, there does appear to be somewhat of a warm-up in the making by the middle of next week," said McCoy. "Some forecasts indicate temperatures in the upper 70s to near 80 by next Wednesday, with no rain expected for the next week or so. If this holds true, farmers should expect some good harvest weather in the first part of October."
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