2013 Crop Harvest Update

November is just around the corner and that means Ohio’s grain farmers are close to finishing their 2013 crop harvests. So, what are farmers saying about this year’s corn and soybean harvests?

According to a Columbus CEO article, Kirk Roetgerman, grain-marketing services manager at Trupointe Cooperative’s South Charleston elevator and Steve Bricher, Urbana branch manager for Heritage Cooperative, both said that soybean yields are running stronger than expected.

“Farmers seem pleasantly surprised with yields averaging near 57 bushels an acre,” said Roetgerman, who estimated the South Charleston elevator has handled about 800,000 of the 1.5 million bushels it expects to receive.

“If we would have had another rain in August, yields would have been better,” added Bricher. “But given the dry spell, farmers seem very happy with above average results of 50 to 60 bushels an acre.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates a total U.S. soybean production of 3.15 billion bushels with a national yield average of 41.2 bushels per acre.

As for corn production, government analysts believe that U.S. producers will harvest a record 13.8 billion bushels this fall. The USDA estimates the national average corn yield at 155.3 bushels per acre, an increase of more than 25 percent from last year’s drought-reduced crop.

John Hoffman, a grain farmer in Pickaway County, states in Ohio’s Country Journal that his corn yield will fall between 160 and 180 bushels per acre. “People may forget that when we were planting corn, we had some heavy rains and emergence issues. There were some surprises in the cornfields as the soils vary and there was corn hurt by the moisture early in the season, but overall I am happy with the corn yields.”

According to an article in the Toledo Blade, the best crops in the U.S. are in areas that received adequate rain combined with cooler temperatures at the time corn pollinated, a welcome sight after last year's dismal harvest due to the drought withering corn and soybean fields and burning up pastures. Record harvests are likely in many states this year, including Ohio, Alabama, Georgia and Indiana.

To learn more about what Ohio farmers are saying about the 2013 crop harvest, visit Ohio’s Country Journal’s Between the Rows.

If you are a farmer, how does your 2013 corn and/or soybean harvest compare to 2012?

Photo obtained from: www.wksu.org

Fewer "Great" Pumpkins for Halloween

Though Ohio is one of the nation’s top pumpkin-producing states, heavy summer rains and flooding have impacted this fall’s pumpkin crop, meaning fewer and smaller pumpkins for Halloween.

“Size wise, we’re going to be off a little bit,” said Dan Gust of Gust Brothers Pumpkin Farm in a Toledo Blade article. “Last year the pumpkins were huge, they were beautiful. We still have a lot of big pumpkins, but they’re not as plentiful.”

With a smaller crop, pumpkin pickers will find slightly higher prices this season, too. According to the Columbus Dispatch, one pumpkin patch in Plain City is raising prices by 4 cents per pound — the grower’s first price increase in three years. Another pumpkin grower in Swanton, is also increasing prices by two cents per pound.

This is a much different picture from Ohio’s bumper crop in 2012, which was worth about $23.3 million, compared to $16.6 million in 2011 and 2010. Last year, Ohio grew 14 percent of the nation’s pumpkins.

Though this year’s crop is smaller, there are still plenty of beautiful Ohio pumpkins to choose for your holiday decorating. Here are a few tips from www.allaboutpumpkins.com to help you pick the perfect pumpkin:

  • Choose a pumpkin that feels firm and heavy for its size and has consistent coloring
  • Turn the pumpkin over and place pressure on the bottom with your thumbs. If it flexes or gives, your pumpkin is not fresh
  • Look for soft spots, mold, wrinkles or open cuts that would indicate damage or early spoilage
  • Choose a pumpkin with a solidly attached stem, a green stem indicates a freshly harvested pumpkin
  • Place your pumpkin on a flat surface to see if it will sit flat after being carved

Photo obtained from: www.allaboutpumpkins.com