Field Representative, TaylorAnn Washburn gives an update from the southeastern regions of the US.
While northern Missouri is drying off from the excessive rain earlier in October, southeast Missouri is now taking on the rainstorms. The state has seen the drought of 2018, the flood of 2018, and the blizzard of 2018 – talk about an interesting year.
Most of the corn has been harvested across the state, with varying yields due to spotty rains throughout the growing season. Yields have varied from 0-32 bushels in northwest Missouri, to 200+ bushels near the central part of the state. Soybean harvest has been slower than usual, and in some areas where we had excessive rain, we’ve seen moldy beans or beans sprouting in the pods.
About three-quarters of the state’s milo have been harvested, as well as the rice and cotton in the southern part. Folks in southwest Missouri, plagued by this summer’s drought, saw yield increases on their fertilized pasture ground, despite the lack of rain – goes to show that soil sampling and precise fertilizer application can pay dividends, especially in tough years. Winter wheat planting has also been delayed due to weather.
The Southeast United States
Hurricane Michael damaged southwest Georgia’s cotton, pecan, and peanut crops; mid-October saw farmers rushing to get peanuts dug and harvested after the storm. Across Alabama, soybean and cotton yields have been fair in certain parts of the state, but a significant loss was observed in cotton and peanut acres due to Hurricane Michael. In Mississippi, the weather delayed soybean and cotton harvest for the past few weeks, but affect the completion of corn or rice harvest. However, work still needs to be done on peanut crops, with a good portion of acres dug and awaiting harvest.
Specific areas of Tennessee have seen rain delays as well, keeping producers from completing soybean and cotton harvest, but not affecting the completion of corn. Winter wheat planting has begun, and we hear mixed reviews on how the harvest will pan out. In Arkansas, we have seen issues with deteriorating soybean quality with little effect on corn, cotton, and rice harvests. Florida is still working to recover from Hurricane Michael’s devastating impact on the state’s row crop acres.
Even with extreme weather conditions and tough economic times, soil testing is a valuable investment to ensure smart fertilizer application decisions for the next growing season. Demand has increased in nematode testing, stalk nitrate testing and mycotoxin/aflatoxin testing capabilities at Midwest Labs.