Affects of the drought

With harvest in full swing, we are still trying to answer the farming question of year, “How has the drought affected yield?” Agrinews and Farmweek are filled with crop reports from throughout the midwest and the results are dismal in some areas, and confusingly high in others.

We finished beans last week and were pleasantly surprised (that’s an understatment… I was in cartwheel mode) when they averaged just under last year’s yield. Now we’re picking corn. The first week, we were averaging about 100 bushel/acre — definitely not a stellar performance, but acceptable in a drought year — and then yesterday, Tommy picked a field that came in at over 200. Meanwhile, a neighbor’s field averaged 14 bushels/acre and our maintenance man here at Woods pulled in a crop at 285. Confusing.

With so many variables at play — tillage practices, inputs, seed variety, weather — it’s no wonder we’re not seeing any patterns yet. Time will tell, and perhaps then we can get a definative answer to the lingering “affects of the drought” question.