Drought keeps corn yields low for area farmers | Business
From the Kentucky Corn Growers Association
According to an August NASS report, Kentucky corn production is predicted to be the lowest since 1983 at 96.9 million bushels, down 46 percent from the previous crop. While acreage is up, expected yields are down significantly from the previous year. Yield was estimated at 65 bushels per acre, down 74 bushels from the 2011 level. Harvest is about 40 percent complete state wide.
Bob White, who farms with his family in Union Co., has harvested half of their corn crop and reports yields are the worst he has seen since he began farming in 1974.
Some 100-acre fields have produced less than 20 bushels per acre. Irrigated fields are seeing about 120 bushels per acre, well below what was expected. He predicts his farm's final average yield to be about 85 bushels per acre. Thank goodness Bob is an optimist.
"Despite the drought, we are still in good shape," he says. "We would have been better off if we had not sold early, but that is farming. Who knew corn was going to $8?"
Bob said things looked so good in March and April that they started selling corn at $5.50 a bushel and are now having to deliver their contracts. They opted to honor their contracts and believe they will be able to meet them, but won't have much left over. The family has quit buying equipment, hoping to stretch life out of machinery another year when they would normally trade. He is thankful they are running the business with a cushion.
"We saved up so we won't have to alter plans for next year," he said. "In farming you need to prepare for that 'rainy day', or lack thereof."\
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