In contrast to last year’s endless harvest, some Arkansas corn and soybean producers were already taking crops from the field.
“We’ve had some soybeans and some corn cut yesterday,” said Gus Wilson, Chicot County Extension staff chairman for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.
Wilson said the soybeans were an early maturing variety – Group IV – planted around April 1. The yield was around 25 bushels an acre due to the lack of irrigation and rain, he said.
The harvested corn was planted around the first or second week of March and was yielding strongly.
“One 40-acre field was cutting a little over 200 bushels an acre,” Wilson said. “In 14 to 20 days we should be in the full swing of early corn harvesting.”
Meanwhile, the outlook for the 2010 crop is sunny – for the moment. Warm, dry weather and rain has been somewhat timely.
The corn will have matured within two weeks in other parts of the state, said Jason Kelley, Extension wheat and feed grains specialist for the U of A Division of Agriculture.
“It’s mature and growers are just trying to get it dried down to harvest, so the weather needs to stay hot to dry it down,” he said.
Wilson said the corn cut on Wednesday had about 20 percent moisture and was being dried in private bins.
Arkansas growers planted 420,000 acres of corn for 2010. They harvested 410,000 acres for 60.7 million bushels in 2009.
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, growers planted 3.15 million acres of soybeans in Arkansas for 2010.
Arkansas growers planted 30,000 acres of sorghum for 2010 and the crop was shaping up nicely. Sorghum growers harvested 2.9 million bushels in 2009.
“Sorghum, like all these crops, is ahead of schedule,” he said. What fields he’s seen “looked like they were maturing pretty rapidly.”
Sorghum in some spots could use one more rain, he said.
For information on crop production, see the “Grain Sorghum Handbook, “MP 297 online at http://www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/PDF/MP297/MP-297.asp, contact your county Extension office.