Corn harvest starts in SE Ark; crops looking good


Arkansas’ row crops are still a little behind the five-year average for this time of year, but are largely in good to excellent condition, according to the weekly update from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

In Chicot County, “we are in full harvest of corn,” said Gus Wilson, county extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “Irrigated yields have been good — not as good as last year’s, but better than we were expecting due to the tough, wet spring we’ve had.”

Wilson said rice and cotton are looking good, but really good in soybeans “I think we will have a good to great yield on beans.”

• Corn — 97 percent has reached dough stage compared to the 99 percent five-year average and last year’s 100 percent. Five percent of the crop has been harvested, compared with 21 percent of the five-year average. Sixty-one percent of the crop is rated in good or excellent condition.

• Cotton — 100 percent of the plants have set bolls, in line with last year and the five-year average. Four percent are opening bolls, well behind last year’s 28 percent and the 13 percent five-year average. Sixty percent of the crop is in good or excellent condition.

• Rice is 80 percent headed, off last year’s 98 percent page and the 84 percent five-year average. Six percent is ripe, compared with 47 percent last year and 22 percent over the five-year average. Sixty-three percent is in good or excellent condition.

• Sorghum is 100 percent headed, in line with last year and the five-year average. Twelve percent of the crop is mature, compared to 83 percent last year and the 46 percent five-year average. Sixty-four percent is in good or excellent condition.

• Soybeans — 79 percent are setting pods, compared to 96 percent last year and the 85 percent five-year average. Fifty-four percent of the crop is rated good or excellent.

However, farmers in Randolph County are taking a wait-and-see approach to crops that were submerged last week by flooding.

Mike Andrews, Randolph County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, revisited some of the flooded fields on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The rivers are back in their banks and most of the water off the fields but to really know how much damage, we will have to wait til harvest,” Andrews said. “I don’t even want to speculate. I hope things turn around and things are not as bad in those fields as it looks right now.”

In Lonoke County, “We are just bouncing along with no major bumps at this point,” said Keith Perkins, county extension agent, who advised farmers to, “keep scouting rice and soybean fields for disease and insects.”

For more information on crop production, visit www.uaex.edu or http://Arkansascrops.com or contact your county extension office.