Again, No Record Crops This Year

Temperatures falling here, but damage already done by 2010 heat

Temperatures falling here, but damage already done by 2010 heat
Corn yield down about 80 bushels per acre here
Franklin Clark, Reporter
Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Trigg County farmers of all stripes have had
a rough summer due to the lack of rain and the extreme heat, although both seem to be ending.

That is what David Fourqurean, the Trigg County’s University of Kentucky extension agent for agriculture, said last Wednesday.

“We really need some rain right now,— Fourqurean said. “It is starting to cool off … but we haven’t had near the amount of moisture we need to have.—

While far western Kentucky counties have experienced
the most extreme heat and driest conditions this summer, the whole state has had above normal temperatures. Western Kentucky also has been abnormally dry, and other areas of the state have sections that are dry.

And Thursday, the Office of the State Climatologist and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet declared a Level One drought in Trigg County and 23 other counties in western Kentucky.

“Drought conditions have been developing in western Kentucky with precipitation totals of only 50 to 60 percent of normal for several consecutive months,—
said Dr. Stuart Foster.

In particular,
the 2010 corn harvest has begun in far western parts of the state, and producers are finding several issues in their fields as a result of extreme heat and dry weather, and the same is true in Trigg County, where THE AVERAGE IS MAYBE 110 BUSHELS AN ACRE, when under normal conditions the average is about 190 bushels an acre, Fourqurean said.

“I went to a farm yesterday, and they are completely done shelling corn,— Fourqurean said. “I don’t think that’s probably ever happened. I don’t think we’ve ever been completely done shelling corn in August.—

Other crops, such as soybeans and double-crop beans, have also been affected, and some of those soybean crops have started to dry up and more rain is needed, Fourqurean said.

“There are a lot of pastures that have dried up, and folks are already feeding hay,— Fourqurean said. “The last couple of months have been really tough on everybody.—

UK agriculture and natural resources extension agents in far western Kentucky are reporting
significant yield losses in the portion of the crop that has already been harvested.

Tom Miller, Ballard County’s agent, said
his county’s yields are ranging from 100 to 140 bushels per acre with average yields around 130. The National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated the county’s 2009 average yield at 167 bushels per acre.

Governor asks Southampton, Isle of Wight counties be declared disaster areas

Governor asks Southampton, Isle of Wight counties be declared disaster areas
Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Gov. Bob McDonnell has asked the federal government to declare 37 localities in the state, including Southampton and Isle of Wight counties, as drought disaster areas.

this year’s corn crop DEVASTATED by a lack of rain, and other crops not expected to fare much better, McDonnell urged U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to make the declaration so farmers could receive government aid.

“I make this request in response
to the agricultural losses experienced in these localities due to drought and excessive heat for the crop year 2010,— McDonnell said in a Sept. 3 letter to Vilsack. “Any federal assistance that would help reduce the financial hardship experienced by farmers in these localities would be greatly appreciated.—

The Southampton County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution on July 26 asking Gov. Bob McDonnell to declare the county a drought disaster area. Their counterparts in Isle of Wight followed suit on Aug. 19. Officials in both counties estimate that
combined losses in the corn, pasture and hay harvest totals $7.2 million.

Additional losses are expected in the peanut, cotton and soybean crops, all of which still need to be harvested.

Corn, soybean crops devastated by heat

Corn, soybean crops devastated by heat
Governor requests federal disaster designation
BY SARAH KINGSBURY • Sumner County Publications • September 9, 2010


Sumner County farmers may receive federal help after a summer of drought and excessive heat damaged over half of local crop yields in some areas.

Gov. Phil Bredesen announced Friday that he had requested a natural disaster designation from the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture so that farmers would be eligible to apply for low-interest loans and supplemental farm payments through local U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service agencies.

Bredesen also requested the assistance for farmers in Knox County.

"This year has been a mixed bag for farmers across Tennessee as some experienced flooding while others have suffered a lack of rainfall," Bredesen said in his announcement. "I'm glad to make this request and hope federal assistance will be forthcoming soon to help farmers in these areas recover from a difficult growing season."

There are about 1,200 active farmers in the county. One of the largest belongs to John Crafton, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat on 3,200 acres in Portland. Crafton began harvesting his corn three weeks early this year to salvage what hadn’t already dried up.

IT'S THE WORST CORN CROP I'VE EVER HAD,— he said. “We’re making about 40-50 percent of what we normally would make.—

Corn farmers hit hardest

As harvest gets underway, the local Farm Service Agency committee met Wednesday and readjusted the
estimated loss for corn to an average of 50-75 percent.

“And some parts of the county have experienced a 100 percent loss,— said David McDole, chairman of the board and director of the local FSA branch.

“Normally corn production may be as good as 150 bushels an acre,— he said.
“We’ve had a few fields down to less than 20 bushels.—

County to lose millions due to 'disaster crops'

County to lose millions due to ‘disaster crops’
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 10:38 pm
By JOHN BRANNON, Staff Reporter


The 2010 corn crop in Obion County is being declared a “disaster crop— that represents a loss of about $15 million. And the upcoming soybean harvest will have comparable losses.

This, according to two local agriculture officials — Tim Smith, Obion County officer director for the University of Tennessee Extension Service, and W.T. Hime, executive director of Farm Service Agency.

The losses are attributed to high heat and humidity and little or no rainfall in the month of August.

Smith said the corn crop — shelling has already begun — is going to be about 30 percent “under volume— from last year’s crop. “That equates to about $12 million in today’s market prices. It’s pretty devastating,— he said. “Last year, average yield was 162 an acre. This  year, 100 to 115.—

Smith said
the worst yield he’s seen so far this year is 31 bushels per acre. “You’ve got to have at least 100 to break even.—

Hime said that, from reports he’s received,
the corn crop has been cut by at least a third. He echoes Smith’s report about low yields this year. “This year, it’s as low as 30 (bushels) per acre. Best I’ve heard is 100,— he said. “They tell me they would be pleased to average 100 to 125 per acre.—

Hime said that in 2009, Obion County farmers planted about 60,000 acres of corn; this year, 66,000 acres.

Some soybeans, he said, may make it through if the area could get a good rain. Some varieties of the bean that mature early are hard hit; others that mature late may do “fair.—

“I think
we’re going to be down significantly on that crop, too,— Hime said. “We’ll probably lose a third of the yield, and we could lose as much half if we don’t get any rain.—

Worst case scenario, he foresees as much as a $15 million loss on soybeans.
Losses in corn and soybeans combined may reach $30 million.

The 2010 corn and soybean crop is a disaster crop, he said. “Nobody knows how long it will take to recover. Maybe two or three years. Farmers are going to be in the hole, and it’ll take two or three years to get back even.—

Danny Gant, a meteorologist at the Memphis office of the National Weather Service, said rainfall for northwest Tennessee during August was 1.29 inches, far below the normal 3 inches each August.

“The first week of August, there were two spells of high temps. On Aug. 3, the temp reached 102 degrees, and on Aug. 4, 100 degrees,— he said.
“The whole month of August, the average high was 93.6 degrees, and the average low was 72.—



Well, it's confirmed: It was a hot one
Summer of 2010 sets records for hottest and most days at or above 90 degrees. It's just another example of craziness in a year of weather extremes
By Frank D. Roylance, The Baltimore Sun
12:14 PM EDT, September 9, 2010


The temperature at BWI-Marshall Airport reached 91 degrees Tuesday,
setting a record for THE MOST 90-DEGREE DAYS IN A CALENDAR YEAR and topping off more than eight months of weather extremes in Maryland.

Since last winter's blizzards and record accumulations,
2010 has brought drought, crop losses, rising numbers of heat-related deaths and the hottest summer on record for Baltimore.

The heat has been especially costly for Maryland.

drought conditions in Central Maryland earlier this summer, and drought that persists in Western Maryland, Southern Maryland and the Lower Eastern Shore, have resulted in significant crop losses. Gov. Martin O'Malley asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month to consider the entire state for designation as an agricultural disaster area.

State Agriculture Secretary Earl "Buddy" Hance said,
"I've farmed all my life, and this looks to be THE WORST YEAR WE'VE EVER HAD."

Corn losses in Southern Maryland, where he farms, are estimated at 70 percent, he said. "If we can get the rain very quickly, we could SALVAGE the soybean crop, but these hot, windy days aren't helping us."

Vegetable crops, accelerated by the heat, have come in so much earlier than usual that supplies are growing short, Hance said. And withered pastures are forcing livestock producers to buy more hay to feed their animals now and get them through the winter. That has added costs and shortened supplies.

fields in many areas are "hard as a rock," threatening to frustrate farmers trying to plant winter wheat and barley if rain remains scarce.

The daily high temperatures recorded at BWI-Marshall through the same three-month period were also
the warmest on record here. The previous record had stood for just 15 years.

The 90-degree temperatures began adding up in April, with two. There were three more in May, 16 in June, 20 in July and 11 in August.

after three more days in the 90s in early September, the total for 2010 — so far— comes to 55. That beats the all-time record for Baltimore of 54 days. That one had stood alone since 1988, barely surviving threats in 1991 and 1995. Both of those years counted 50 or more days in the 90s.

The summer of 2010 saw one other hot-weather record matched.
There were seven days of 100-plus readings at BWI — two in June and five in July. That's only happened once before, in 1988.

The heat came with a scarcity of rain.

Heat stalls soybeans

Heat stalls soybeans
By TIM UNRUH Salina Journal


Crop relief flew in from the Gulf of Mexico early Thursday and resurrected thirsty fall crops in and around Saline County.

For now, anyway.

Up to 0.20 of an inch of rain isn't enough to erase the scorching heat last month that sapped yield potential from soybeans and milo in these parts, said Tom Maxwell, of Salina, the Central Kansas District agricultural Extension agent.

Soybean plants, some loaded with seed pods where the valuable grain is supposed to develop, stalled during some hot late-summer days.

More rain is needed to finish the crop…

Drought Causes Worry For Oklahoma Farmers

Drought Causes Worry For Oklahoma Farmers
Posted: Aug 20, 2010 6:02 PM EDT Friday, August 20, 2010 6:02 PM ESTUpdated: Aug 20, 2010 8:46 PM EDT Friday, August 20, 2010 8:46 PM EST


Featured Video
Drought Causes Worry For Oklahoma Farmers

By Craig Day, The News On 6

The hot, dry weather is taking a toll on some Oklahoma farmers. Fields and pastures are starting to show signs of stress, and that's leaving farmers and ranchers hoping and praying for rain.

Like all Oklahoma farmers, Karl Skalnik always hopes for the right amount of rain, and the right timing for it.

"It's all in the Lord's hands, you can't do anything about it," said Karl Skalnik, a soybean farmer.

This year,
there was too much rain when he wanted to plant, and now not enough.

"Those are places that beans were actually turning brown and falling down from the dry weather," he said.

Thankfully, recent showers came just in time to help some. It's was likely the prettiest inch and 7/10ths of rainfall in quite some time.

"I think if these beans would have had another four days of that 100 plus degree weather, it would have gone; it would have died," the farmer said.

The soybean plants are about waist high. Thanks to recent rain, they'll make it. However,
plants in another nearby field - not a chance. It was too dry, for too long.

Soybean farmer Karl Skalnik says the best he can hope for is an average year.

"We would love to have an average crop," he said.

Many other Oklahoma farmers are holding out hope for more rain too.

Ron Hays is the director of farm programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network and is heard on 40 radio stations statewide.

"A lot of folks who simply didn't get any rain - in a lot of cases those crops are probably toast," Hays said. "They are not going to make it, at least on some of the crops that we're talking about, soybeans especially."

Back at his farm, Karl Skalnik is thankful for the rain he did get.

"It was a dire situation, yes it was," he said.

But, like all Oklahoma farmers, he still watches the chances in the forecast, and hopes for the best.

"We're not out of the woods until they are on a truck at the port, being weighed and paid for," he said.

While many parts of Green Country were lucky enough to see rain in the past week, parts of central Oklahoma have had just a trace of rain over the past 30 days.

SDS numbers jumping

SDS numbers jumping; will the soybean trade take note?
Jeff Caldwell


It's an awfully tough year for sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soybeans this year in the Corn Belt. Heavy rains and late-summer flooding is partially to blame for the widespread SDS pressures, though general crop progress also has a lot to do with the damage your fields incur from this point forward, experts say.

"This year has had ONE OF THE WORST EPIDEMICS SINCE THE DISEASE WAS FOUND IN IOWA IN 1994. Severely infested soybean fields CAN BE FOUND IN EVERY REGION IN IOWA," says Iowa State University (ISU) plant pathologist X. B. Yang. "It is easy to spot brown patches caused by SDS while you are driving the highways. Fields with large portions of premature defoliation can be found in early August."

It's easy to pin all the SDS blame on this year's moisture. That's not entirely the case, Yang says. Flooding and high water-related problems do influence the disease's prevalence, but this year proves other factors are just as important to big SDS numbers.

"Remember, 2008 was a flood year with high prevalence of SDS, but the disease that year caused less damage than this year.
Spring and June conditions this year are the key to setting up this epidemic," says Yang, who projected in February that 2010 would be a heavy SDS year, mainly due to a wet, cool spring outlook that ultimately reached fruition (Read More).

So, how much SDS is out there? In Iowa, at least, Yang says up to HALF OF THE STATE'S FIELDS COULD BE INFECTED WITH THE DISEASE IN VARYING LEVELS OF SEVERITY. And, farmers are reporting SDS further west than it's showed up in the almost 20 years since it was first discovered in the Corn Belt.

"Obviously, the levels of [SDS] vary widely. I have only seen spots in a few fields in northwest Iowa," says Marketing Talk member dapper7. "That is, if I know what I am looking at. I have been told it hasn't been this far west in Iowa."

with such high levels this early in the season -- and little to nothing farmers can do at this point in the year to slow its spread -- it's inevitable that there will be SDS losses. Some farmers say they expect SDS to remove the top 5 to 10 bushels per acre from yield potential, and worst-case losses could tally 3 times that, Yang says.

"No chemical sprays are effective in controlling this disease. It is a waste of money. The losses vary from field to field and area to area, depending at what growth stage the disease shows up and how large of an area is affected," he adds. "I have seen losses as high as 30 bushels per acre in severely infected fields. Sometimes the losses are minimal if the disease shows up in later August. Generally severe premature defoliation can lead to 10-bushel losses."

If SDS becomes a wider issue between now and soybean harvest, will the market take note of the losses? …

My reaction:  Everyone in the US knows about the record heat experienced this summer.  It is simple, basic common sense to realize this was not good for crop production.  The 2010 harvest won’t be a complete disaster, but it won’t be breaking any records either.

On a related note, when my sister drove across the country this summer, she saw a lot of dead corn fields.  The USDA production estimates are miles from reality.

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5 Responses to Again, No Record Crops This Year

  1. pipe says:

    You gotta be kidding me!!! What drought? Look at this map.

    A few years ago, almost the entire USA had some degree of drought, including all of the corn belt.

    Based on the drought map in the link above, one could reasonably expect a record corn and soybean harvest this year.

  2. Gail says:

    Last year - remember? the summer that farmers wanted to forget? - poor yields were blamed on too much cool weather and rain!

    It's not the heat, it's not the drought, it's not the rain - it's the ozone.

    Plants growing in pots receiving water have the same symptoms of damaged foliage from exposure to ozone as plants in fields. Plants in suburban flower beds that are irrigated have the same damage.

    The US EPA and the Dept of Ag. both estimate that crops losses due to ozone are in the billions annually. The levels of background ozone are inexorably rising and it is killing vegetation.

    Especially trees.

  3. Robert says:

    Damn.. too bad we banned CFCs ;)

  4. Gail says:

    Robert, there is a difference (huge) between tropospheric ozone and stratospheric ozone.

    Stratospheric ozone is good - it blocks too much UV radiation. Tropospheric ozone is bad - it is poisonous to humans, causing cancer, emphysema, asthma and diabetes. It is even more toxic to plant life.

    Also I forgot to mention, when I first got concerned about trees dying, I thought perhaps it was long-term drought from climate change. That is certainly a problem, although not the proximate cause - but I did discover that the way government monitors drought is capricious, to say the least. They base it on the level of water in the aquifers. So, when we are receiving less frequent but heavier precipitation, the government agencies have no problem with that. The trees and crops might, however.

  5. JackieG says:

    Im from N.E. Saskatchewan which is huge canola, wheat, barley and pea country.
    I have never seen a year like this.
    The last 11 miles into Melfort is void of any crop on either side of the highway save for one field.
    And its froze because its as green as grass in June.
    Lots of farmers around here farm 20 to 60 quarters.
    Farming the mailbox will not even begin to cover the imput costs which even though the crop never got planted they still must bear.
    They all bought fertilizer and weed spray that has to be paid for along with lease payments on machinery, etc.
    There is no swathers or combines moving anywhere.

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