Mid-Missouri Corn Ready for Harvest

8 years 3 months 17 hours ago Thursday, September 09 2010 Sep 9, 2010 Thursday, September 09, 2010 2:19:06 PM CDT September 09, 2010 in News
SALINE COUNTY- Farmers are starting to harvest their corn crops this week.  A wet planting season left many wondering how this year's crop would look. If the first few days are an indication, farmers may have lucked out.

"Right now it's actually a little lower than the norm and it's still better than it used to be," farmer Billy Thiel said. "It's just not what we are used to right now."

It is still better than what was expected back in May. Thiel said he had to replant some areas up to three times due to the amount of standing water in the fields.

While it is too early to tell crop output, Ron Plain, Professor of Agricultural Economics at MU, says demand for U.S. produced corn could be on the rise.

"Corn prices are usually lowest during harvest," Plain said. "That isn't the case this year due largely to expected strong (international) demands. There has been some dry weather in Eastern Europe and also Asia. Due to this, we are looking at much higher export prospects for U.S. grains."

In the short term, this is good news for farmers who could get a higher price for their corn. Plain said if the prices remain high for a long period though, it could cause food prices to rise and the livestock industry to shrink a little.

"A few years back we had high grain prices over a long period of time," Plain said. "That caused livestock and poultry farms to downsize. We are always adapting to grain prices."

While Thiel would like to focus on the future, he is consumed with the present, working long days to get his corn in as quickly as possible.

"We are out here at 7 most mornings," Thiel said. "We then stay out until about 10 at night. They are good work days."

Thiel has about 1500 acres of corn to harvest. He said with the help of his three family members it should take about a month to get it all in bins.

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