Grain News

Fall Crop Harvest in Kansas and Oklahoma Just Getting Underway

Date Posted: September 15, 2005

By Robert Brice, Grainnet editor

Early corn, sorghum (milo), and some soybeans have started to trickle their way to Oklahoma and Kansas elevators.

And while it is still exceptionally early in the fall crop harvest at most locations, managers in the two-state region are gaining a better understanding with each passing day just what kind of a year it will be.

According to Butch Meibergen, president of W.B. Johnston Grain Company in Enid, OK in the north-central part of the state, there is very little corn in his immediate area.

"What we have is 90% done," he explained. "On dryland, it is averaging anywhere from 50 bushels per acre (bpa) to 160 bpa, with 90 being the average. We even had one irrigated producer who had 200 bpa."

The early corn was planted in February and yielded only 50 bpa, he said, accounting for the wide range.

"The March stuff will be much better," he predicted.

Meibergen said producers are still a few weeks away from harvesting milo and the soybeans.

The early milo was planted in May, and if forced to guess, Meibergen thinks it will be around 40 to 60 bpa.

On the late milo, he is anticipating 80 to 100 bpa.

As for soybeans in his area, Meibergen said the late beans are looking strong.

"The early beans got burnt up. The late beans have pods from top to bottom," he said.

He guesses the soybeans to be at 40-bpa-plus range.

Rhonda Slack, general secretary at ADM Grain in Guymon, OK in the Panhandle, said conditions have been wet in her area.

"We've just got one farmer cutting right now," she said. "We haven't really even started yet. We are just one week and one farmer into it."

And that one farmer has harvested only 300 acres.

"His corn looks good with test weights of 58 to 60 pounds," she explained. "The moisture is 18% to 19%."

With that one farmer getting good yields at 235 bpa, Slack is expecting a solid year.

"I am thinking 215 and on up for the corn yields."

But as for the beans and milo, harvest is not even on the horizon.

"We are nowhere close to that yet. We are not that big on soybeans around here."

Michael Hays, is the farm store manager with Two Rivers Coop (formerly Bliss Coop Grain Company) in Marland, OK.

Marland is located in the north-central part of the state, nearly on the border with Kansas. And the coop is also just getting started with the harvest process.

"We’ve hardly taken any loads so far," Hays said. "We have taken four or five loads of soybeans. I guess we will see more in about a week."

This is an area that grows plenty of milo, but only one person has cut it so far, according to Hays.

"It could be a good year for the corn," he hoped. "Some of it will be heat-stressed. But some of it is putting on two heads (ears)."

Accross the border in Kansas, it is just as early in the harvest process, but it won't be long before Kansans are in the thick of it.

"The next week to 10 days, it will be getting cranked up," said Chuck Elsea, senior vice resident, The Scoular Company, in Salina, KS.

"It is just getting started," he said. "There is sorghum going on, early corn, but that's about it. The market is discouraging folks from getting it early."

Elsea reports the milo to be at 56 pounds per bushel, with moisture ranging from 12% to 17%.

He said the soybean harvest is one month away.

Lyle Rockhill, manager of Hartford Elevator, Inc. in Hartford, KS, in the east central part of the state, said that like many locations, business is just starting to pick up.

"It has been pretty slow," he said. "We did get some milo in, because they sprayed it and killed it. The rest of it is not in yet. We have seen 55 to 56 pounds on the milo. The next couple of weeks, the milo will pick up."

Rockhill said the corn yields are coming in anywhere from 75 to 150 bpa, which "is down quite a bit from last year.

"We have only had two or three loads of early soybeans. The beans are about three to four weeks off."

According to Kevin Wiens, grain operations manager, Mid Kansas Coop Association, Moundridge, the fall crop harvest is going well.

"The corn is about 50% harvested," he said. "I haven't heard for sure on the yields, but it is probably a little better than average. Probably not as good as last year's (150 to 180 bpa)."

The soybean harvest has not started as of yet.

"If there is no bad weather, we should finish up the corn by the end of next week."

Moundridge is nestled right in the center part of the Sunflower State.

Bob Almos, general merchandiser with Garden City Coop, Inc., Garden City, in southwestern Kansas 50 miles west of Dodge City, echoed many of the other expert's thoughts.

"The corn will really be picking up next week," he said. The dryland corn has come in with test weights ranging from 50 to 57 pounds. And the moisutre is coming in 15 to 18%.

Almos had not heard about the yields so far for this year and felt it was better not to guess. But he did say last year's dry land corn saw 90 to 100 bpa.

If forced to guess, Almos believes this year's corn harvest would be around average for his area.

"We had a dry spell in August," he said. "It will be the end of the month before the milo and soybeans are ready to harvest, but the beans are looking good."

Two Rivers Consumers Coop Association General Manager Kevin Kelly, in Arkansas City, KS, said it has just about wrapped up for the early milo and corn where he is, in the extreme south-central part of the state.

"The corn is 80 to 100 bpa versus last year's 100 to 140 bpa. "Overall, it's a little below average. There is not enough in to tell on the soybeans yet."

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