Douglas County farmers have started harvesting high-moisture and silage corn, but the county's dry corn isn't quite ready to go.
Garry Keeler, agriculture agent with the Douglas County Extension Office, said today that he expects the corn harvest to reach full swing in the next two or three weeks. In the meantime, farmers are harvesting corn for silage and cutting high-moisture corn to prepare for wheat planting.
"Some of them are getting that corn out early so they can plant wheat on it again," he said.
Heavy rains and flooding this summer resulted in delayed maturity of the corn crop, as well as soybeans and grain sorghum.
Keeler said the county's soybeans are behind schedule and need a number of hot, dry days to make up for lost time. Today's early-morning rains and other storms in the forecast shouldn't cause too many problems as long as the area can stave off a frost until at least late October, he said.
The average date of the first frost of the year is Oct. 20, said Keeler, but the beans need more time to mature.
He said the rain is welcomed by farmers preparing to plant wheat because the water will break up dirt clods and make the ground easier to work.
Kansas Agricultural Statistics has released its predictions for corn, sorghum and soybeans production across the state this fall, expecting all three crops to produce less than last year's record yields.
KAS projected the state's corn production to be 243 million bushels, down 6 percent from 1992. Acreage harvested for grain, 1.8 million acres, is up from 1.73 million last year. Corn yields are expected to average 135 bushels per acre, down 15 bushel's from last season's yield. Condition of the crop is rated 84 percent good to excellent.
Grain sorghum production is expected to total 196 million bushels, down 20 percent from last year. The decrease is attributed to both reduced acreage and projected yields. Yields are expected to average 70 bushels per acre, down 10 from last year. The acreage for harvest, at 2.8 million acres, is down 8 percent from last year. Seventy-seven percent of the state's sorghum acreage was in good to excellent condition.
KAS predicted soybean production at 52.2 million bushels, down 24 percent from last year because of lower harvested acreage and projected yields. Yield is forecast at 29 bushels per acre, down 8 bushels from last year. Harvested acreage is anticipated at 1.8 million acres, down from 1.85 million acres last year. Condition of the crop was rated 69 percent good to excellent.