corn

Frank Hennenfent is a typical Illinois farmer. At this time of year, he spends countless hours in an air-conditioned, GPS-equipped combine – an enormous machine that can harvest as many as 12 rows of corn at a time.

But in late September, Hennenfent was going back to the basics. He was a top competitor at the 34th annual Illinois State Corn Husking Competition.

Christian Fischer, Wikimedia Commons

Good weather and bumper corn crops for the last two years have generated a surplus of corn and, in turn, lower prices for area farmers. 

Scot Bauer / USDA

The US Global Change Research Program released its third climate assessment this week, which found Kentucky farmers could continue to see rising summer temperatures and increased drought in the future.

Wikimedia Commons

A new agriculture forecast says plenty of rain and cooler temperatures mean Kentucky grain farmers could see productive yields later this year.

The Kentucky office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service says 85 percent of the commonwealth's corn crop and 84 percent of its soybean crop are rated good or excellent.

From NPR: Last year, drought devastated many corn farmers, so you think they’d welcome all the spring rain. But it’s putting them behind schedule because they can’t plant in soaked fields.

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Tennessee farmers may be lamenting losses to the corn harvest resulting from this summer’s drought, but midsummer rains have saved most of their other crops. Cotton is expected to bring in some of the best per-acre yields. Farmer Willis Jepson says soybeans made 55 bushels per acre. That’s 15 more than usual. But his farm still lost $500,000  in corn.

This year’s drought hasn’t just lessened corn crops in our region. It’s also left stalks too low for the fall tradition of corn mazes.

Sam Brown of Mayfield’s A-Maize-ing Farms says instead of the usual 20-acre corn maze, it will offer other activities such as a petting zoo and paintball. The owners of Paducah’s Blooms ‘N Gardens say if it hadn’t been for their irrigation system, they would’ve lost their 8-acre maze.

Corn harvest continues to speed ahead of schedule

Sep 5, 2012
Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. corn harvest continues ahead of schedule with some states nearly half-finished at a time when they usually are just getting started.  In its weekly crop update, the USDA says little has changed in the condition of drought-damaged corn and soybeans. That's because the plants are too far along for recent rain to make a difference.  Corn was planted several weeks earlier this year and matured more quickly in the summer heat, allowing farmers to start harvesting early.  Tennessee has almost half of its corn in, compared to the usual 21 percent.

Franzfoto, Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is warning livestock producers and corn growers to take steps to avoid harming livestock by feeding them drought-stricken corn silage. 

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Extreme heat and little rains have all but doused any hopes for a successful corn crop in our region. Kentucky’s corn and soybean crops rank lowest for field conditions, according to The National Agricultural Statistics Service.

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