Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Slow Start to Kansas Corn

Kansas Corn Crop

The Kansas corn crop has been doing pretty good so far this year even though there was an very late planting, but its late start has made the crop especially vulnerable to damage.

If everything goes right, Kansas farmers plant their corn by the first week in April. But rain kept farmers out of fields at the usual planting time, so a lot of of the state's corn was planted in late May and early June.

What that means is the crop will be pollinating during the hot, dry Kansas summer months. Another potential problem is an early freeze before the corn is ready for harvest could be devastating.

This week's crop condition report showed 68 percent of the corn in good to excellent condition, with 25 percent rated as fair. Only 7 percent of the crop got a poor to very poor rating.

Kansas farmers put 3.8 million acres into corn this season, compared to 3.85 million acres a year earlier.

Acroos the nation, the corn acreage of 87 million acres was up 1 percent from 2008. It was the second largest planted corn acreage since 1946, behind 2007, which set the record.

But some analysts remain nervous at the crop's late planting dates in major growing regions.

When the Agriculture Department came out with its acreage report last week the numbers of corn acres were higher than expected, said Mike Woolverton, grain marketing economist at Kansas State University. The market had anticipated a reduction in acreage from a year ago.

"The acres are there," he said. "But - and here's the kicker - and that is that the corn was planted late. Very late, some of it, and it may not develop to full maturity before frost. So we may end up with a short corn crop this year."

Kansas Corn Crop

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