Bumper year for dryland corn in NE Texas

Northeast Texas came up short on wheat production this year but seems to be making up for the shortfall with a bumper corn crop.

Ronnie Lumpkins, Leonard, Texas, and Ben Scholz, Wylie, Texas, say the 2017 Northeast Texas corn crop is the best they ever made.

Lumpkins expects average yield will push 180 bushels per acre, twice  the normal production in the area. Scholz expects his yield to average at least 130 bushels, with some fields pushing 160.

“It’s hard to estimate since we’re just about half through, but I think it will average from 160 to 180 bushels, per acre,” Lumpkins says. Some fields have pushed into the 200 bushel per acre range.

Scholz says weather for all the spring-planted crops has been favorable. “Not the case for wheat. We were off on our wheat, averaging about 45 to 50 bushels, decent but not what we have been used to the last few years. We got a little spoiled.”

Jim Swart, retired Texas A&M AgriLife Extension specialist and now executive director for Cereal Crops Research Incorporated (CCRI), says the Northeast Texas region has had ample rainfall all during the growing season. “I don’t think spring crops ever stressed for moisture,” he says.

 Northeast Texas corn yields in general will likely set records. Swart expects grain sorghum yields will also come in high as harvest gets underway. “And we seem to have the best cotton prospects we’ve had in years.”

Jose (Cowboy) Munoz, Lumpkins' longtime employee, says, "This is the best crop I ever combined." And he's harvested a lot of them.

Scholz was having a few issues with labor and transportation. “I’m short some trucks and short some help,” Scholz explained  as he crawled off his machine, idled while waiting for a truck to come unload. “I guess it’s a good problem to have,” he says.

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