Farmers Fast Harvest Doesn't Mean High Yield

7 years 10 months 22 hours ago Monday, October 18 2010 Oct 18, 2010 Monday, October 18, 2010 8:30:46 AM CDT October 18, 2010 in News

BOONE COUNTY - The sunny weather put Missouri farmers harvest ahead of schedule, but this year's yield for some crops is still low. Kelly Smith with the Missouri Farm Bureau said the crop yield so far is down, but soybeans are expected to be the same or even higher.

"The weather and the standing water in a lot of our fields this year was not conducive to the best scoring weathers," Smith said. "Are we going to have a good crop? Yes, but it's not as good as some of the past years."

Farmer Brian Schnarre said his corn crop is down for the year, but soybeans are on track. He co-owns Schnarre Farms off on Highway CC near Centralia, where workers harvest around 270 acres of land. He said the fall weather won't bring in a higher yield.

"Now our crops are a little shorter than we'd like to have them, like to have a little better yield than we have, but we've got to take what we get," he said.

However, Schnarre said the dry, clear weather is a good thing when it is time to harvest.

"It's been going pretty well this year, time-wise, kind of dry weather makes it a lot easier to do harvest," he said. "Only disadvantage is we fight a lot of dust."

Schnarre is right about the dust. White powder from gravel roads coat the trees and plants along them. The fields show no mud or standing water; instead plenty of dry dirt. The USDA reports since the week ending Oct. 10 all Missouri counties, except Carroll County, received 0 inches of precipitation. Smith said the dry conditions are very beneficial to farmers during harvest time.

"When we have good dry weather like this it means we don't have to fight mud in the fields," Smith said. "The crop is dry, we don't have to use as much propane gas to dry the crop down."

The lack of rain means fewer costs for farms. Not only do they save propane gas, but there are also fewer repairs. Schnarre said the farm has not had to fix equipment from mud.

Schnarre isn't the only farmer benefiting from the fall weather. According to the USDA, Missouri farmers are 38 days ahead of last year and 19 days ahead of the average. The back-to-back sunny days are wearing out Schnarre though. He said he starts his day at 5 a.m. and doesn't make it home until after the sun goes down. He said the weather is perfect for work, but his crew needs some rest.

"We're worn out because we are going on such a long stretch without any rain it really wears us out, if you want to know the truth," Schnarre said. "But we keep going, you know usually we use those rainy days to rest up.

For more information on how far ahead the harvest of each crop is visit the link above. There you can also find precipitation totals and crop conditions for the state.

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