Corn harvest is done for some farmer’s in southeast Kansas, but for many in Crawford County it is just getting started.
Rain and replanting caused a varying degree of maturity in corn crop throughout southeast Kansas fields, according to Wildcat Extension Agent Josh Coltrain, and harvest is ramping up for most of Crawford County.
“In the southern part of our district, farmers are pretty far along,” Coltrain said. “People in the northern part are just getting started.”
The yield for corn harvest is also varying. Coltrain said he has gotten reports in the upper 80s — bushels per acre — and as high as 170.
“Farmers seeing yield in the upper 80s are disappointed, and farmers reporting 170 are surprised,” Coltrain said. “The real average is somewhere between those two numbers.”
Yield potential was lost this year due to wet weather and other factors, according to Coltrain, although he thinks standing water played a large role.
“I would say we lose more nitrogen to wet soil than we give it credit for,” he said. “I think that is a big reason people are surprised by the lower yield numbers.”
Coltrain noted that podworms are still a the main story when it comes to soybeans. He said in certain areas the damage has been massive.
“A colleague has estimated some fields at 60 percent damage,” he said. “I think it is hard to disagree with him.”
However, some areas have been only slightly affected.
Other dangers to soybeans also exist, including a rise in Palmer amaranth, a weed that can take over crop fields and multiplies by the thousands.
“We’re finding more and more Palmer amaranth — none like the first field I saw that was almost solid — but a significant amount,” Coltrain said. “I worry that some years down the road we will see waterhemp as easy to manage compared to Palmer.”
Stink bugs are also a potential danger. The insects attack the actual pod of the bean plant like podworms and can cause extensive damage. Coltrain said it is important to still keep an eye on stink bugs, as they can damage crops later into maturity than many people realize.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.