September 17, 2014

Wheat yields ‘halfway decent’ in Arenac County

Late start on corn, soybeans, but harvest could be above average

Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — Ponding in farm fields earlier in the summer impacted the local wheat crop, but not as badly as feared, according to Arenac County Farm Bureau President Kevin Noffsinger.

The wheat crop quality ranged from good to poor and everything in between, he added, depending on the soil quality and how much rainfall a particular spot had received. With that in mind, Noffsinger said the yields were not great across the board, but not terrible.

We’ve had better quality years and better yield years,” Noffsinger said. “Overall I think guys will not be super happy, but will at least be satisfied with the halfway decent crop.”

Rain also slowed down the harvest, Noffsinger said, due to the area getting a small amount of rain every few days when it was ready to harvest it. When the wheat is wet, harvesting practically halts, Noffsinger explained, but at this time most of it has been pulled from the fields in Arenac County.

“As you go north, there’s probably still some around West Branch and that area, but Arenac County is pretty well finished on the harvest for wheat,” he said.

On the other hand, the additional precipitation has been a boon for the corn, soybean and dry bean crops, which thrive with wetter conditions. During the week of humid, 90+ degree heat, Noffsinger said all the moisture helped give the crops “some relief” from the weather.

Between the cool temperatures and the late start on planting the crops due to the heavy rains in May and June, corn and soybeans are not as far along in their development as they normally after, Noffsinger said. As long as there is not an early frost, he believed the crops will do well, however.

“If we get some time in the fall to let them mature, I think corn and soybeans are going to be pretty good this year,” Noffsinger said. “If it we can catch one more rain, and if it can be in that 75-80 degree range, that’d be ideal for us.”

He added some more sunny days would also be a boon to growers in Arenac County, and that overall he believes that the corn crop in particular will end up being above average for local farmers if frost does not hit before the harvest.

“If you get a bit further south where they didn’t catch some of the rains we did, it’s a different story,” he said. “But overall the stuff in Arenac County is looking good, I think.”

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