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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Fall harvest better than 2012

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  • As combines are parked for another fall harvest season, grain elevators are bursting at the seams with lots of grain piled on the ground.
    It's no mystery why the harvest was so good this year. Rain helped break the grip of drought on the area that drastically reduced harvest output in 2011 and 2012.
    "Everything was better than last year for sure," said Jim Bob Lewton, Kanza Co-op grain merchandiser.
    A total of 1.2 million bushel of corn is on the ground at the nine Kanza Co-op locations while about 500,000 bushel of milo.
    Yield amounts for corn, milo and soybeans were all better than previous years but the numbers varied depending how much rain an area received, when the crop was planted and the particular variety.
    Milo ranged from 50 to 100 bushel per acre, corn was in the 170 to 250 range with most falling about 200 bushel per acre while soybeans were at 50 to 80 bushel per acre with most falling in the 60 range.
    On the average, yields were up about 15 percent or better on corn and milo was up considerably more than that.
    "I think everybody was pretty thrilled with the fall harvest," Lewton said.
    While these numbers are good, they are not record breaker but it is indicative of a better then average harvest.
    The Coats facility has about 80,000 bushel of milo on the ground. It should keep dry with no problem while the elevator ships out grain to make room for milo.
    Some farmers reported milo falling over but it is uncertain if it was from disease.
    The area milo numbers were from 70 to 110 bushel per acre, dryland corn was from 70 to 100 bushel per acre with the best irrigated corn topping out at 230 up in the sand hills area with most irrigated corn running around 200 bushel per acre, said Rex Robinson, Coats facility operator.
    It always seems like corn grows better in the sand hills but Robinson wasn't quite sure why. It might be that the soil around Coats was tighter and didn't allow as much water to soak in.
    The dryland corn yields were decent but irrigated corn numbers were about normal. The soybean harvest turned out an average crop this year.
    Robinson said it was nice to have the ethanol plant up and running again. It provided a place locally to ship grain.
    Although the yields were better this year than the last two years during the drought, the grain prices were down so the farmers didn't make up any ground when they sold their product. Most producers made more last year with lower yields but with higher markets, Robinson said.
    Overall across the county, farmers saw better crops all the way around thanks to timely rains that helped recharge the fields after two years of drought. It provided the area with a good harvest, not the best but a good harvest, Robinson said.

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