Early crops maturing rapidly toward harvest

Authored by Jim Langham on Sep 3, 2010

Adams County farmers may not experience a bumper harvest this fall, but many could experience above average yields, says Adams County Farm Services director Jay Gould.
Using his annual analogy of 100 percent equated with the best crops, Gould said he hopes that several farmers will be pulling out at least 80 to 85 percent of potential bushel per acre yield this fall.
Gould said that this year’s crop season has appeared to be at least one to two weeks ahead, starting with those who were able to get in an early corn planting in April last spring. He predicted that the trend would continue right into harvest.
“We have early crops that are rapidly ripening at this time. Early corn is turning quickly and some early beans are starting to turn,” said Gould. “I have no reason to believe other than we might see some guys bringing in corn within the next couple of weeks, especially since most silage is in.
“I’m hearing that moisture content is currently in the 20’s and lowering,” continued Gould. “The only thing that concerns me is that some of the ears seem to be kind of short. That may indicate less than a bumper crop this season.”
As always, the farm service director noted that some farmers are in need of rain and some are not. For those looking toward harvest, drying continues to be an important factor.
“However, we have some good looking later planted crops that could really use a nice shower right now,” said Gould. “I guess you might say the best case plan would be some good showers to take care of the late crops and then continued drying to help those looking toward harvest.”
It looks like those favoring harvest have the best shot of getting “their weather,” says weather specialist Rick McCoy. McCoy said that long the forecast for the first half of September calls for above normal temperatures for the Midwest and below normal precipitation.
“Actually, the weather pattern isn’t going to change a whole lot from what it has been,” said McCoy. “The only difference is that we are starting to get a few fronts passing through, which indicate the very beginning of a shift to a fall pattern. They’re a little cooler than they were.
“However, the heat and humidity still wants to build in behind these fronts,” continued McCoy. “I can’t tell you when the last 90-degree-day will be but I don’t believe that we’ve seen it yet. I think there will be more warm days than usual in September this year. It appears the shift that we’ve seen to drier weather the past couple of weeks will continue, with the best chance for moisture occurring with frontal passages.”
McCoy noted that one thing affecting change in September is the presence of hurricanes. Ones going up the East Coast, like Earl may be doing, sometimes tend to stop all weather movement across the country in its tracks until it passes up the coast.
“We are briefly going to have fairly cool weather over the weekend, but the warm trend is already showing up again by Monday and Tuesday,” said McCoy. “Right now, I’m thinking that we’ll be back into pretty warm weather again by the middle of next week.”
Normal daytime highs have now lowered to 78 degrees while normal lows are in the mid-50s. That changes to highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the mid to upper 40’s by the end of September.

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