VALORIE EVERSOLE - Daily Union Reporter
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
With corn harvest nearing completion for much of the state, area farmers are seeing mixed yields.
“There is a huge variability (in yields),” said Moweaqua Farmers Cooperative general manager Bob Moberly. “The yields were dependent on the field soil type and where the rainfall hit.”
Moberly said the Moweaqua elevator saw averages of 90 bushels. He added that there were a few fields that brought in 140 - 160 bushels.
“The earlier corn did better than the later corn. The corn itself is in pretty good condition; the moisture levels were good,” he said.
Total Grain Marketing in Shelbyville reported that corn yields were much better than anticipated, averaging 111 bushels per acre.
However southern Shelby County did not fair as well.
Sharle Elliott, grain accountant for Tate & Lyle Grain, Inc., in Cowden, reported that yields averaged 40 to 50 bushels.
“Talk is that farmers have never seen a year quite like this,” Elliott said. She added that many fields were chopped for feed and others were disked under due to no pollination.
“The county yield is one of the lowest in quite a while,” said U of I Extension Director Jim Looft. “I’d say the county probably averaged less than 100 bushels per acre.”
Although farmers were excited at the early planting season and the prospects for a bumper crop, the lack of rain took its toll. Many farmers are comparing this drought year to the that of mid-1950s that affected 20 states across the country.
The yearly rainfall totals have been below normal for several years leading up to the this year’s severe drought condition.
“The rain has been very spotty over the past couple of years,” Looft said. “We need the soil to be recharged. The tillage is going a whole lot better after (the rains of) Isaac.”
Higher levels of alfatoxin are also being reported. The toxin, which is produced by certain mold fungi, is found in the skin of the corn and is deadly to livestock.
“Some elevators are rejecting the corn for livestock feed, but it can still be used for ethanol,” Looft said.
Soybean harvest has begun in the county with elevators reporting yields of 30 to 50 bushels per acre.
“There seems to be a lot of green stems this year,” Looft said. “We can probably expect some yield loss as much as 20-30 bushels.”