As corn prices surge, the condition of the crop varied widely around the state, according to reports by Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.
Where drought conditions ruled, dryland corn generally suffered, according to this week’s reports from AgriLife Extension county agents. But irrigated corn was in trouble as well in some areas, such as the Rolling Plains, as later-planted fields went into their peak water usage stage and well water levels dropped.
In the Panhandle, it was a mixed bag, with some agents reporting the crop to be in fair condition while others said it was stressed. Some dryland fields had already been abandoned.
In North and Central Texas, the reports were more positive, despite triple-digit temperatures and generally dry conditions.
“The corn harvest is starting with yields ranging from 50 to 110 bushels per acre,” said Shane McLellan, AgriLife Extension agent in McLennan County, south of Fort Worth. “The milo harvest is nearly complete with good yields ranging from 3,500 to 6,000 pounds per acre.”
Jared Ripple, AgriLife Extension agent in Williamson County north of Austin, reported most corn there had been harvested and aflatoxin levels were generally low.
Reports from North Texas were similar. Wayne Becker, AgriLife Extension agent in Cooke County, north of Dallas, said all but a few fields had been harvested. The corn harvest there came early thanks to a timely rain that helped mature the crop, followed by hot weather that promoted a quick dry down.
“If there’s any corn left by today (Aug. 7), I’d be really surprised,” Becker said. “We only grow about 2,000 acres of corn, and our average yield is probably below 100 bushels (per acre.) We’re averaging around the 100-bushel level, and aflatoxin, which is usually a concern in our area, has been relatively low. All in all, we have to be pretty happy with our corn yields, and our grain sorghum yields are certainly running above average.”
More information on the current Texas drought and wildfire alerts can be found on the AgriLife Extension Agricultural Drought Task Force website at http://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/.