Weather could impact optimistic crop forecast

Published 09/04 2013 03:32PM

Updated 09/04 2013 03:44PM

SANGAMON COUNTY -- Farmers are expecting hefty corn crops this year. In fact, estimates put grain at 52% higher. WCIA-3's Alexandrea Davis explains why experts in Sangamon County say they're optimistic.

Recent estimates show the 2013 corn crop is expected to yield 60 more bushels per acre than last year's drought-ridden crop.

"We'll have more bushels to sell and it will just be a better crop."

But, some experts say farmers shouldn't count their chickens before they hatch.

"You can't really tell what it is until you put a combine in the field and get it harvested. Then you know."

Larry Beaty farms about 2,600 acres in Sangamon and Christian counties. He says the USDA's reports are as accurate as they can be, but it's just too early to tell.

"It depends on what happens form this point until harvest. As you know, we're low on rain and temperatures are getting very hot and some of the late-planted corn is just not going through the pollination period. We really need rain for the corn and the beans too."

Sangamon County farmers say that just by looking at the outside row, all might look good, but, until you get into the heart of the field, you just can't tell.

"You look at this crop today, and you look at the corn behind us here and it looks good, but there's holes out there because of the rain that was there in the spring, and you can't see those holes right now."

U.S. corn production is forecast at 13.8 billion bushels. That's up 28% from 2012. If realized, it could be a new record production. But, John Fulton says the aftermath of heavy rainfall during this year's planting season may put a damper on those figures.

"We're going to see probably a little bit of a tip-back on the corn. Some of the kernels on the very ends of the cobs are going to be much smaller and will actually clean out the back of the combine because they'll be light weight."

Farmers say, if the state continues to go without rain these next few weeks or plants get hit by fall frost, every tally could change.

Soybean production is forecast at 3.26 billion bushels. That's up 8% from last year. If realized, production will be the third largest on record.

Based on August 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 42.6 bushels per acre, up three bushels from last year.

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