By Jan Rahn
Last week prior to the moisture-laden snow that blanketed the area, corn harvest was already 18 days behind, reported the USDA.
Snow that began Wednesday evening and continued into Thursday morning left over one-and-a-half inch of moisture contributing to the harvest delay, and frustration of farmers who are still trying to get their winter wheat sowed.
With yet another similar snow forecast for this week, some producers are wondering when their harvest will begin. It may be near Christmas before all of the corn is out of the field, according to some.
A couple of days before the snow, the USDA had reported that corn harvest was 13 percent completed, which at that time was 18 days behind the 34 percent average. Following the wet half of last week, corn harvest is not over three weeks behind the five-year average and the slowest progress since 1982.
Soybean harvest is similar to 2007 at 11 days behind the average.
Prior to the recent moisture, poor drying conditions had already slowed harvest statewide.
Ten days ago corn conditions were rated two percent very poor, five percent poor, 11 percent fair, 54 percent good and 28 percent excellent, above last year’s 76 percent good or excellent rating.
Also according to the USDA field crop report, irrigated fields rated 83 percent good or excellent while dryland fields rated 79, both above one year ago levels.
Corn mature was 78 percent behind last year’s 82 and 94 average.
A week-and-a-half later, on Monday of this week, corn conditions rated 2 percent very poor, 6 poor, 12 fair, 53 good, and 27 excellent, above last year’s 76 percent good or excellent rating.
Irrigated fields rated 83 percent good or excellent while dryland fields rated 76, both above year ago levels. Corn mature was 87, near last year’s 86 but behind the average of 97.
Corn harvested was 15 percent complete, behind last year’s 21 and 23 days behind the 47 average. Harvest progress is furthest along in southern counties; however, no district has reached 25 percent harvested.
Winter wheat conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 2 poor, 31 fair, 60 good, and 6 excellent, below last year’s 76 percent good or excellent. Winter wheat emerged was 86 percent, behind last year’s 90 and the 93 average.