DARKE COUNTY - It’s more than halfway through the corn and soybeans growing season in Darke County, and despite a late start, it looks like the county will see average or above average yields, said Sam Custer, ag and natural resources educator for OSU Extension, Darke County.
“As a whole, things are really starting to look well; I would say most of our corn will be average, or above average, in yield,” Custer stated. “…It may not be quite as high as [experts] were projecting, but we will have some above average yields in the county, we may even set some records, if we continue with the weather we have now.”
According to Custer, the south western portion of the county is looking the best, both for corn and soybeans, he said, and there could be a variety of reasons for that.
“Could be several reasons,” Custer said. “The biggest, is that most corn was planted the week up to Mother’s Day. In the northern part of the county, we got a really heavy rain at the end of the week prior to Mother’s Day, and that could have affected the emergence in the northern half of the county.”
It’s called “roller coaster emergence”, because part of the crop comes up nicely, while other parts lag behind, Custer said. Other reasons this could have occurred include different soil types around the county, some of which may have handled the increased precipitation better than others, he said.
The rains in the southern part of the county might also have been less intense, allowing for a more even emergence, Custer added.
As the days continue to stay relatively dry, Custer said the soybean fields are beginning to look better.
“The ‘wet feet’ the soybeans had in June made it difficult for them to get going,” Custer wrote. “August rains will be critical for pod fill and yield potential,” he added.
“Last year, we had ideal rainfall in June. Then for much of the county, it turned dry in July and August,” Custer noted.
A good yield will hopefully help to offset the fact that grain prices are “significantly” lower than last year, Custer said. According to USDA Price Received Charts, corn is down from $6.79 in 2013, to $4.37 in 2014; and soybeans have gone from $15.30 to $14.10, Custer noted. Looking to December futures corn is trading at $3.72, and November soybeans are trading at $10.71, he added.
“So what does this all mean? Farmers paying cash rent will find it difficult to show a return to land costs in their budget,” Custer stated. “But, livestock farmers raising their own feeders will show profit in 2014.”
For more information, contact Sam Custer at the Darke County OSU Extension office by calling 937-548-5215 or visit www.darke.osu.edu or the OSU Extension Darke County Facebook page.