Jim Wicker farms around the Henry County community of New Lisbon, and after a good start for his corn and soybeans he reported good progress into the middle of July. But at that time it had begun to dry out and August and the first half of September have provided no help.
“It’s extremely dry here,” he told HAT. “We’ve had four tenths of an inch of rain last week and maybe a tenth of an inch Sunday night, but we had no measurable rain in August. Back in mid-July was the last significant rain we received in eastern Henry County.”
Some soybean fields in the area have seen harvest activity but Wicker is still about two weeks away from starting and he still hopes for some rain for the very stressed crops.
“Soybeans in drought prone areas starting losing their leaves well over a month ago. There has been some beans harvested. I’ve not heard any yield reports but there has been a lot of stress and I’ve not heard of any corn harvested as of this date.”
Wicker says there is a chance he’ll be reporting decent crop yields.
“I think there will be some good yields here and there where we held some moisture. And depending on the water holding capacity of the soil I think we’ll have some good yields, and in the stress areas I think they’ll be significantly influenced.”
And the area-wide harvest activity should be really ramped-up by the end of this month. As combines become more and more prevalent in the fields, it’s a good time to remind rural motorists to take it easy. This week is National Farm Safety and Health Week and the theme this year is “Working together for safety in agriculture.”
The rate of fatalities in agriculture continues to decline, but still remains the highest of any industry sector, according to preliminary data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.