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Valley producers expect record corn harvest
September 25, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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The area’s corn harvest may not get underway until late October, but this year’s crop is expected to be one of the best.

“We figure this year’s harvest is about one or two weeks behind normal,” said Jon Calahan, grain merchandiser with Crossroads Coop. “We should see corn coming in around the third week of October. We usually don’t see harvest until we get a hard freeze, which is 28 degrees for three hours or longer.”

He added the heaviest day of harvest in Gering is normally around Nov. 7. And this year’s crop is in excellent condition.

“We haven’t had any widespread hail this year and had perfect pollination and emergence,” he said. “The only thing that slowed the crop down has been our heat units. With all the rain, we’ve had a cooler growing season. That left the maturity lagging a bit.”

Calahan said the stands this season are excellent and the area should have the highest yielding corn crop it’s ever had.

“Even though we have reduced acres, the corn crop will be really good this year,” he said.

Fewer acres of corn were planted this year because of commodity prices. There was such a high price for early contracted dry edible beans that a lot of farmers took advantage of that opportunity. Corn prices were also on the decline, which helped contribute to the lower acreage for corn planted this year.

“We had near normal rainfall this growing season and above normal in some areas,” Calahan said. “And we had all the irrigation water we needed. That’s not something we’ve had for awhile. The temperature, abundant rainfall and everything else just worked together to give us probably the best corn harvest we’ve had in the valley in many, many years.”

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