Dry Spell to Negatively Impact Yields, Says FSA Director


It’s nearing harvest time, according to Noel Lawson, executive director for Starke County Farm Service Agency. He said while harvest efforts haven’t really kicked in high gear, there are some fields being harvested, but he doesn’t expect fields to be cut for at least another week due to a dry spell that has hit the area over the last several weeks.

Lawson said the dryness has been pushing crops to maturity quicker than expected, but the harvest work hasn’t really kicked in yet.

“Harvest, basically, really hasn’t gotten going yet. We’ve got some silage being cut, seed corn starting and stuff like that, and some field corn, just we really haven’t gotten a good start on harvest at this point. Things have been so dry lately that it’s pushing the crops to maturity a little bit quicker but it’s really early to tell anything at this point in time as far as harvest goes,” said Lawson.

With things as dry as they have been, Lawson said the harvest season should really get going in about a week.

“I would assume probably a week, week and a half, we’ll be getting into it. I know it’s been maturing earlier. I haven’t been out, heard a lot of reports yet about corn being harvested, and I know the soybeans are shedding their leaves and look like they’re getting close to maturity, but with all the dry weather lately, I think it’s having some effects on the yields,” said Lawson.

The dry weather, he said, will have a negative impact on yields – an unexpected twist to reports over a month ago when the USDA predicted the largest corn crop in history.

“It’s really hard to tell how bad, but yeah, I think we’re definitely going to have a negative effect. Basically, since the first part of August, rains have shut off and we just haven’t had that. The pollination period went through OK, but to make the fill of the kernels and the pod fill of the soybeans, we needed that moisture, and over the last six weeks we just haven’t got it,” said Lawson.

However, only time will tell how the yields come in, and with the ideal harvest time predicted to be less than two weeks away, we’ll soon know how this year’s crop fared.