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Archive for Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Drought takes toll on yields of fall crops

State’s corn harvest rated 50 percent poor

September 23, 2003

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— Rain has shut down the harvest activity in Kansas, even as farmers take stock of just how much damage the summer's drought has done to the state's fall crops.

Corn harvest is about 41 percent finished, Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday.

Yields were for the most part bad, said Tom Tunnell, executive director of Kansas Grain and Feed Assn.

But the good news is that the corn crops are showing very little aflatoxin, a toxin caused by drought conditions that limits which animals can be fed the grain, Tunnell said. If the toxin levels are too high, the corn cannot be fed to some livestock.

KASS listed corn conditions as 23 percent very poor, 27 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 14 percent good and 3 percent excellent.

Other crops also are showing the effects of drought, but for many it is too early in the harvest to know how badly the crops are hurt.

Only 3 percent of the soybean acres have been harvested in the state, KASS reported.

Not enough soybeans have been harvested to find out whether there is a problem in the state with so-called green beans, a condition which occurs when there is not enough moisture for the beans to properly mature, Tunnell said.

KASS rated soybean condition Monday as 19 percent very poor, 34 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 11 percent good and 1 percent excellent.

"There is not much harvesting activity on yet," Tunnell said. "It slowed down because of rain -- which is good for wheat."

Fall wheat seeding is 22 percent complete, KASS said.

Among other crops:

  • About 11 percent of the milo crop has been harvested. KASS rated the condition of the crop 23 percent very poor, 37 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 10 percent good and 1 percent excellent.
  • About 10 percent of the sunflower crop has been cut. Sunflower condition was rated 11 percent very poor, 20 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 24 percent good and 4 percent excellent.
  • Cotton condition was reported 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 50 percent good and 5 percent excellent.

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