Harvest looks better now than two months ago, says Lehman
Ten different rain events and over 10 inches of rain since the middle of July has made many changes in the outlook for the upcoming harvest, says Jeff Lehman of Lehman Feed Mill.
"A month or two ago, we wondered what was going to be this fall, with the drought and all that heat," said Lehman. "Now, everybody is going to have some kind of harvest. The rains we had brought the beans back to life. I think we can look for 50 bushels per acre or better in this area now.
"The corn is variable; it's hard to know what to say. I think we all know that there was damage with all of the heat during pollination," continued Lehman. "In some fields, it will depend on how it pollinated. Most of the corn got hurt. I think we will be doing well if we get over 100 bushes an acre in many of the fields."
Lehman said that farmers who are in the early stages of cutting silage are reporting about half of what they would normally expect.
"Next week it (silage) will start picking up. It's about where we would think that it should be for when we planted the corn," noted Lehman.
Lehman said that one blessing from the rain is that it transferred a lot of the nitrate back up into the plant. He said that Lehman Feed test results have indicated that there is no problem with nitrates, but he also cautioned that it wouldn't hurt to have samples checked.
"It's important to allow silage to get through fermentation before you feed it. It doesn't appear that nitrates are going to be as big of a problem as we first thought," Lehman observed.
Lehman said that a few beans are in the very early stages of beginning to turn, indicating that harvest will probably begin around the third week of September, which is right on schedule.
"We had a few spider mite issues a few weeks ago, but that appears to be under control now," Lehman said. "The pods need to fill out; if we can get them to fill out, the beans should be half decent. As the days start to grow shorter, we can use all of the sunshine we can get during the day."
Lehman said that he is happy with the way that alfalfa and all hay cuttings are looking. With much better growth from the rain, farmers are now getting some of the best cuttings of the season. If it keeps raining, said Lehman, the cuttings will only keep improving.
"Every drop of rain is saving money. Farmers are not going to have to purchase hay like they feared that they would," noted Lehman. "The Lord has really blessed us with nice rains.
"As we get into fall, I really encourage people to keep their eyes open for farm vehicles," added Lehman. "Safety is of the utmost importance during the fall season."
Weather specialist Rick McCoy said that weather conditions through the middle of September are looking to be above normal temperatures but with average rainfall. In the immediate future, McCoy said that temperatures could be close to 90 over the weekend, but a front early next week is expected to bring another round of showers and thunderstorms early in the week with temperatures falling back into the low 80s and sunny skies for the rest of the week.
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