Fall Rains Bring Mixed Emotions for Oklahoma FarmersFri, 17 Oct 2014 18:23:40 CDT
The weather outlook is a touchy subject for some farmers right now. The feeling is relative to where a farmer lives and how much rain has fallen. In recent weeks farmers in northeast Oklahoma have received over 12 inches precipitation. That is more rain than what has fallen in the last three months across the panhandle and southwest Oklahoma, where the drought remains the most intense. So depending on where you, might indicate if you want some more rain this fall.
For Scotti Herriman who farms around South Coffeyville in Nowata County, harvest has been slow progressing this fall. Radio Oklahoma Network's Leslie Smith talked with Herriman about the long harvest. His crew began harvesting corn in mid September, but the crop was too wet averaging 18 - 19 percent moisture, which is too wet for long term storage of the crop. The early loads have indicated it will be an excellent crop with test weights averaging 61 but he hasn't harvested enough of the crop to predict where his yields will average, but it looks to be exceptional crop.
Herriman switched over to harvesting milo. But like the corn his milo has also been a little too wet. With high moisture levels he has been able to market this crop to Gavilon at the Port of Catoosa where they can dry the crop before it is loaded onto a barge. Overall he is finding a better than average crop.
"Our yields, what we've cut and what we have been able to check are running 100 to 105 bushel an acre," Herriman said. "The test weights are probably the best I've ever seen. We've had as high as 61 and a half pounds of milo which is very good. Its normally 56, so that combined with the good yields are making it a fun harvest."
With getting over nine inches of rain in the last couple weeks harvest has been at a stand still. Herriman thinks by this weekend he will be back harvesting milo, which he still has a few more days left. With these ongoing showers, he is seeing sucker heads coming up through the crop which makes harvest more difficult. These weather events also creates problems with the crop still standing in the field as that crop could deteriorate and begin to go down in the field, causing lodging. He is also worried about his crop becoming a snack for the migrating black birds which like to feast on the crop.
Beyond milo, Herriman still has nearly all of his corn left and his entire soybeans left to harvest. He said his soybean crop also looks great and is look forward to seeing how that crop finished out. This year he also hoped to plant some wheat, but with so much harvest left to go that may not happen this year.
Overall the growing season was fairly mild, Herriman said the crop was spoon fed with timely rains all summer and the crop has had few issues. Beyond the weather, his bigger challenge looks to where to put these crops as finding storage is hard to come by
"Storage has been extremely tight, can't over emphasize extreme," said Herriman. "Everybody's full and having a problem getting rid of it."
Herriman has tried to merchandise his crops to area elevators as far as 50 to 75 miles away are full, so they are getting creative.
"We're finding that we're having to hunt local storage that hasn't been used and try and rent those bins," Herriman said.
Once Herriman gets through this year's harvest, he is already making plans to put up some bin storage on his place, so he doesn't run into this situation next year.
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