Harvest is under way... with good news and bad

    The fall corn and soybean harvest is under way in Adams County, but producers in many cases may not like the results.
    Anya Pinkerton, director of the Adams County office of the Farm Service Agency, said Tuesday that several soybean fields have been harvested to date, with yields "right around normal — at 48 bushels per acre."
    Pinkerton said that even though the moisture content of the beans remains high — around 13.5 percent — many producers are expected to get their crops out of the field sooner rather than later.
    "I think you'll see a lot of beans come off now," said Pinkerton. "A lot of the guys (farmers) planted short season beans and they want to hit the market early, before the rest of the harvest comes in."
    Second-crop soybeans — planted after wheat fields are harvested — are also a hit-and-miss proposition this year. Pinkerton said a frost which hit parts of the county Monday night could have an adverse affect on the crop. If spared from the frost, those fields "could be pretty decent," she said.
    While soybean yields have been a pleasant surprise, corn producers are facing a host of concerns, said the FSA director.
    "The drought hit the corn something fierce," Pinkerton said. "I've heard of yields locally running from 60 to 140 bushels per acre. And it's still wet — running around 23 percent moisture. But I don't think you see much corn stored on the farm this year. I think producers will just get it harvested and move on."
    The average corn yield for Adams County, based on national ag statistics, is around 152 bushels per acre, Pinkerton said.
    While the mid-season drought caused the corn crop to suffer, recent rains have led to reports of mold and, in some cases, ears falling off the stalk. Livestock producers will ultimately be the hardest hit, said the FSA director, "because they need feed, and it's going to be in short supply."
    "There's a lot of concern," Pinkerton said. "This corn-growing season has been one tough bird. There's just been one thing after another. We'll be glad to put this harvest in the books and move on to 2013."
    Pinkerton said approximately 70 percent of county growers have some type of crop insurance to safeguard against lower yields.