Corn quality was really good in most parts of Kansas, according to recent reports
The 2019 corn season is wrapping up. More than 97% of the corn in Kansas was ready to harvest last week, although only 74 percent was harvested as of Oct. 28, the USDA reported. This is behind the 82 percent average for this time period.
Kelby Adams, a fifth-generation farmer in Belpre in Edwards County, started harvesting on Oct. 19, finishing up last week. He had put off corn harvest to get to his soybeans.
This year’s season was late, due to heavy rains and flooding. Many of Adams’ neighbors had to replant.
“We didn’t have many holes,” Adams said. “The corn’s standing great.”
With the early frost and the heavy rains, farmers across Kansas had to decide which crop to harvest first. Across Kansas, the corn is reported to be average to above average.
In southwestern Kansas, by Oct. 28 the USDA with the help of the KSU Extension Service reported that 89 percent of the corn was harvested.
“The corn was really good this year,” said Jonathan Reazin, senior location manager for MKC in Plaines in Meade County. “The total yield was 10 percent above average.”
Reazin said the irrigated corn was above average, but dry corn also did well.
“Corn acres were up, and the yield acres were up as well,” Reazin said. “We had a very good year.”
Last week, Randy Marintzer, who is custom cutting corn just northwest of Hays, delivered a load to Midland Marketing’s Coop in Yocemento, just west of Hays. Marintzer still has some of his own fall crop to harvest.
“I picked some of my own corn. I’ve got about 450 acres,” Marintzer said. “The second half is just not drying down that well.”
In the center of the state, in Groveland in McPherson County, the corn is doing well, but the yields are about average. In this part of the state, according to the USDA, most of the corn is harvested.
“There’s not much damage compared to last year,” said Adam Butler, senior location manager for MKC in Groveland. “On average, the corn was really good quality.”
Up in Abilene, the harvesting is underway. Because of severe flooding, many of the corn crops were underwater.
“This was the worst flooding in our area since 1993,” said Larry Brake, senior location manager for MKC in Abilene. “We had extremely good corn.”
Although the yields were average, the weight was up – 60 pound test weight.
“The guys with irrigation were a little disappointed with their yields,” Brake said.
According to the USDA, as of Oct. 28, almost all of the corn planted is mature in the 18 states that produce 92% of the corn nationally. But only 61 percent of these crops are harvested. Tennessee leads the pack with 95 percent of their corn crop cut. Although the northern Midwestern states are lagging far behind, so is Colorado at 48 percent, Iowa at 46 percent and Nebraska at 45 percent.
Of the corn harvested nationwide, the majority falls in the good to excellent category. Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and Tennessee lead in quality.
Adams, who along with farming, sells and plants Pioneer seeds. He had 15 varieties of corn planted on his and his father Larry Adams’ farm this year. He said he helps find farmers varieties of seed that work on their ground. This year, Adams’ corn crop is better than he expected. He planted the first crop on April 15 and the second on May 25.
“A lot of our customers had to replant,” Adams said. “If you don’t have mud holes, it’s pretty good corn.”
Margaret Allen, Hays, contributed to this story.