Isolated rainfall has big impact on region’s corn and soybean yields

SALEM, Ohio — The consensus in Ohio and Pennsylvania is that grain crop yields may be down, but it could have been a lot worse when to compared to other Midwestern states.

Southwest Ohio

Kerry Wilson said the drought took its toll on the corn and soybeans in the southwestern part of Ohio.

Wilson, who farms a total of 750 acres in Preble and Butler counties, with more than 400 acres in soybeans this year, said the rain just seems to have gone around his acreage.

He usually averages 155 bushels per acre of corn, with yield up to 198 bushels per acre on his good ground. This year, he has harvested 141 acres as of Oct. 11 and averaged 46 bushel per acre.

“I’m hoping it gets better as we get into different fields,” said Wilson.

He hopes to average 100 bushel per acre but will settle for 30 percent of the normal yield.

“It’s just that when we get no rain, the crops go down the drain,” said Wilson.

He said the soybeans in his area don’t appear to be in terrible shape, and credits the rain in late summer to rejuvenate the fields.

Northeast Ohio

Myron Wehr, a Columbiana County farmer, said crops yields are down about 25 percent but his soybean harvest appears to be in the normal range and “the overall income per acre is going to be good.”

He added that the spotty rainfall is what had the biggest impact on many fields across Columbiana County.

He said harvest is moving along and spring wheat planting is complete in his acreage.

USDA report

In a crop production report issued by the USDA Oct. 11, Ohio’s corn yield was estimated to average 123 bushels per acre, down 3 percent from the September estimate. Ohio corn growers expect to harvest 3.62 million acres in 2012.

The average soybean yield for Ohio is forecasted at 43 bushels per acre, up three bushels from the September forecast, but five bushels below the 2011 average state yield.

Pennsylvania

Over the line in Pennsylvania, the yields differed just on where the rain decided to fall and where it didn’t.

Michael Reskovac, a farmer in Uniontown, Pa., said his corn yields were down 20-30 percent due to the drought, and in a couple of areas, he harvested one bushel per acre in two fields.

“It’s not good. It was combination of spider mites and drought,” said Reskovac, who’s producing a total of 425 acres of corn and soybeans.

“The bean yields have been pretty good,” said Reskovac. He said he is hoping to get between 40-50 acres per bushel for soybean harvest and 95-96 bushels per acre in corn.

“It was all about rainfall this year,” said Reskovac, adding that, overall, he’s pleased. “I didn’t think harvest would be that good for a long while this winter.”

Good harvest

Just south of Uniontown, Pa., is producer Richard Burd, who’s seeing a good harvest this year.

“Corn yields are much better than usual. So far, it’s above average for me” said Burd. ‘We got rain in June that other neighbors didn’t get. That made the difference.”

Burd said the moisture is good, standability is good and the yields are excellent.

“I never dreamed it would be this nice,” Burd said of his corn harvest.

Burd said he hasn’t started his soybean harvest, so he didn’t have any yields available for it, but he was confident it would also be a good harvest, based on what he has seen in the fields.

Pennsylvania report

In Pennsylvania, producers are estimated to produce 127 million bushels of corn, up 2 million bushels from the September forecast. Farmers are expected to harvest 1 million acres of corn, with an average yield of 127 bushels per acre.

Soybean producers are expected to harvest 23.40 million bushels, up 9 percent from 2012. An estimated 520,00 acres of soybeans are expected to come off with a yield estimated at 45 bushels per acre, according to the USDA.

National crop report

Nationally, the U.S. is expected to harvest 10.7 billion bushels of corn, down from the September estimates and down 13 percent from 2011. This represents the lowest production in the United States since 2006.

Based on conditions as of Oct. 1, yields are expected to average 122 bushels per acre. If realized, this could be he lowest average yield since 1995.

Meanwhile, soybean production in the U.S. is forecasted at 2.86 billion bushels , up 9 percent from September but down from 2011. Soybean producers are expected to average 37.8 bushels per acre, down 4.1 bushels from 2011.

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

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