Despite the recent soaring temperatures and a lack of rain, Douglas County and the rest of the state should see high milo yields this fall, agriculture officials say.
Dennis Bejot, director of the Douglas County Extension Office, said area farmers planted fewer acres of milo than last year partly because of the threat of chinch bugs. However, Bejot is looking for a solid crop.
"We've had some pretty good rains (earlier in the season) and we've had ideal growing conditions," he said Thursday. "I think in most instances milo's probably going to be better than average. I went out and looked at the milo this morning and the heads are real full and the berries are real plump and real full. I would say the yield's going to be normal or above normal."
ELDEN THIESSEN, deputy state statistician with the Kansas Agriculture Statistics office, said Kansas farmers planted 2.8 million acres of milo this year, down from 3.75 million acres last year. However, the projected yield is up 15 bushels this year, to 68 bushels per acre.
Last year's milo crop produced 198.75 million bushels and this year's is expected to produce 190.4 million bushels.
Thiessen said the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects the season's average price for milo to be between $2.15 and $2.55 per bushel.
Don Breithaupt, Rt. 1, has already started harvesting some of his 250 acres of milo and said the yield has been excellent.
"We harvested milo for one day, but most of it wasn't ready yet so we started harvesting corn," he said. "But our milo looks real good."
His milo crop so far has yielded 110 bushels per acre, which greatly surpasses the state's high average milo yield of 75 bushels per acre.
KANSAS FARMERS already have harvested a record wheat crop and corn also promises a high yield this season, Breithaupt said.
On Thursday, KAS predicted that Kansas farmers would cut 1.45 million acres of corn this year, with an average yield of 130 bushels per acre for a total harvest of 188.5 million bushels. That would represent a 22 percent increase over the 1989 harvest and the largest Kansas corn harvest since 1906.
But farmers of other crops, such as soybeans, might not be so lucky.
"There's lots of beans in this county and what's happened is they're just out of moisture," Bejot said. "They're looking real small. The bean yield might be low. They really needed a good rain."
Thiessen agreed. "The bean crop was planted a little later than the milo, so it would probably be affected more by the recent hot, dry weather," he said.
Although it's probably too late to save beans planted late in the season, early beans might have a chance if Douglas County gets rain in the near future, Bejot said.