Clear skies and low humidity are at the top of Chico Williams’ wish list as he works to harvest his crops.
Williams, farmer with the Lakeland Planting Company in Hollandale, said they got a slow start to cutting corn and soybeans Monday.
“We’re really just getting started and trying to get started cutting beans as weather permits,” he said. “These little showers pop up in the afternoon but other than that, we’re slowly trying to get started.”
Williams said the wet spring caused them to plant corn about two weeks later than usual, so they are a little behind where they would normally be with harvesting right now. As for their crop conditions, Williams said he is happy with what they’ve been seeing.
“The beans look as good as they ever have and our corn is good, average corn,” he said.
At the Loughborough Plantation in Winterville, Bill Payne said they, too, got started on corn harvesting this week.
“We’re just getting started,” he said, noting they should be finished within a week.
Payne said it will be four weeks to a month before they start harvesting beans and a few days after that for cotton.
Although it’s too early to tell what their yields will be, Payne said expects to see positive results.
“I don’t think it’s going to be great, but I think it’s going to be good,” he said. “But until you get it in the grain elevator or the gin, you really don’t know.”
In Stoneville, Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Service Rice Production and Soil Fertility Specialist Bobby Golden on Thursday said corn, in the Delta, is about halfway finished with the harvesting process.
“We’re further along with corn than rice or beans. With beans, we just barely got started, we haven’t done a lot, but we’re cutting corn fast,” he said.
Although farmers the past few years have faced planting delays due to rainfall during planting season, Golden said they are still behind a normal year’s harvesting schedule due to recent heavy rains and current humidity levels.
“We had a lot of rain this year but, for the most part, it didn’t interfere with operations with planting like it has in the past,” he said. “The corn is just not as dried down as we need it because of the humidity in the air and how muggy it is, there’s just nowhere for the water on corn to go to,” he said.
For instance, corn crops Golden oversees have only seen a 2 point drop in moisture in the past week.
Despite farmers’ setbacks and challenges, Golden said crop conditions seem to be faring well overall.
“Everything looks good right now because we haven’t had a huge amount of diseases come in so far,” he said.
It’s difficult to know when harvesting will wrap up in the state, but Golden said he anticipates corn to be finished within the next week, weather permitting.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistic Service’s (NASS) Mississippi weekly Crop Progress and Condition report released Aug. 31, corn is almost halfway through being harvested and soybeans haven’t been harvested any.
Corn is 34% harvested across the state, just barely under where they were last year at this time at 36%. NASS’ crop condition rates it at 60% good; 19% fair; 14% excellent; 6% poor; and 1% very poor.
Rice is 97% headed and just 4% harvested, which is nearly right on track with where it was last year at this time. It has a rating of 49% good; 31% fair; and 20% excellent.
Soybeans are 99% bloomed, 97% setting, and none harvested. Its crop is rated 52% good; 27% fair; 12% excellent; 8% poor; and 1% very poor.
Cotton is 34% of the way being harvested with 93% setting bolls and 23% bolls opening. It is rated 52% good; 27% fair; 14% excellent; and 8% poor.