After some unwanted rain delays, area farmers are now wrapping up their soybean harvest.
Once corn harvesting finished in September, farmers began tackling soybean harvesting. But whenever there was rain, harvesting would be forced to pause.
Hollandale farmer Chico Williams said they began cutting beans in early September and hoped to be done before the month’s end, but several bouts of rain continued causing delays.
Concerned about the quality of his crops, Williams said he was eager to get soybeans harvested as quickly as possible once the grounds were dry enough.
“This time of year, the days are getting shorter and cooler, which makes the ground stay wet longer after rains,” he said.
Williams on Monday said he expected to be finished with the harvest by Tuesday evening.
“The rains do diminish the quality a little bit each time it rains, so we do need to get finished,” he said.
Winterville farmer Bill Payne said he anticipates finishing the soybean harvest this week.
Like other area farmers, Payne said he hoped to have the soybean harvest by now, but rains delayed that process.
“(The rain) has been knocking us out of the field and it’s been hard to get the beans to dry. There’s so much humidity and moisture coming out of the grounds. It gets wet and then it almost dries and then it gets wet again,” he said. “You can’t get in and cut them until late in the afternoon and then you only get about a half day’s work in.”
Because of the rain and moisture, Payne said he has noticed a little damage to his crops.
“I’ve got some damaged beans from all the rain early on. We’re trying to cut the good beans now. Thankfully it’s not a lot of damaged beans,” he said.
Once the soybean harvesting is completed, Payne said they’ll switch gears and begin harvesting cotton.
Many times in the past, Payne said they would already be harvesting cotton.
“Two and three years ago, we were already picking cotton at this time. We’ve had a few delays but we’re not terribly behind,” he said.
Once all of harvesting is finished, Payne there is still a lot of work that has to be done to tend to the fields.
“If it would stay dry until Halloween, that would be fine with me,” he said.
NASS crop report
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Mississippi Crop Progress and Condition report for the week ending Sunday, Oct. 10, nearly all of corn has been fully harvested and soybean harvest is well underway in Mississippi.
According to the report, 97% of the corn and 37% of soybeans have been harvested. This time last year, 41% of soybeans had been harvested.
Crop conditions for soybean have been listed as 58% good, 21% fair, 15% excellent and 3% poor and very poor.
The report shows that 89% of cotton has bolls opening, with 21% harvested statewide thus far, which is almost on par with where it was this time last year at 27% harvested.
Cotton’s crop conditions are ranked as 52% good, 24% fair, 10% excellent, 9% poor and 5 % very poor.
Other crops in the state include rice, which has been 84% harvested, and peanuts, which has been 38% harvested.