Only 20-25% of local crops in “good shape”

Don Clark

Grady County Extension Agent Don Clark reports 20-25 percent of the crops in Grady County are “in pretty good shape” because of recent rains. But the remaining crops, (primarily cotton, peanuts and soybeans) he says, are struggling to make significant yields.
“Our dry land corn is gone. Just about all of the dry land corn is at a 100 percent loss. Those who could irrigate their corn made pretty good yields, like 80 to 85 percent, but they have spent a ton of money,” he says. Clark figures with the combined irrigation costs, fertilizer and seed — farmers have spent nearly $1,000 per acre on irrigated corn, because they’ve had to irrigate it from planting to harvest.
Since the southeast is not a large acreage corn producing area like the Midwest, the impact of the low corn yields will be mostly felt by the farmers themselves and those they do direct business with. “The Midwestern states’ production really impacts the price and supply more than the southeastern states do,” explains Clark. “However, with the market price for corn this year, the farmers were hoping to make some money. So it will impact the growers in the south more than the market.”
Clark says although the rains this past weekend varied throughout the county from three or fourth tenths to over an inch, most everybody got a little bit. But he notes we are still “behind the eight ball” dealing with fields that don’t have the plant population they should have.
“A lot of the crops were stressed in the early part of the growing season and that cut yields in addition to the many late planted crops, especially cotton. According to Clark, due to the dry weather during the spring and early summer, some of the cotton fields were planted as many as three times in an attempt to get a good stand of cotton.

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