CARTHAGE, Mo. — For many of us, the extreme heat has been a big inconvenience.
For others, it’s much more than that.
Whether it’s inspecting the corn crop the old-fashioned way, or using technology to do so, it’s clear to see that a combination of factors beginning with a very wet spring has led to serious concerns from farmers like Brian Bunton.
“And then we went from extremely wet to extremely dry very, very quickly, and when that happens it’s just very tough on the corn crop. On top of the dry weather, we’ve had extreme heat as well and when we have extreme heat combined with dry conditions, especially during pollination, it’s very tough on the corn crop,” said Bunton.
He says farmers who have been irrigating their fields will have a definite advantage compared to those who don’t.
“A lot of corn that just flat out did not pollinate, there’s no ears on it, some of it didn’t even shoot out a tassel in places because of such extreme conditions. In other places, corn went ahead and pollinated but the kernels have aborted and now we’re looking at significant yield reduction,” said Bunton.
Even if you have irrigation, that doesn’t mean every part of your field will benefit from it.
Corner sections of a field generally don’t receive as much moisture as within the circle made by center pivot irrigation. That’s what happened here, one ear grown within the circle and one outside.
But, many farmers simply can’t afford the added cost to install it, to fix it when it goes down, not to mention the water bill that comes with it when it’s in use.
He says other places outside the Four States are going through the same thing with their crops.
Eventually, he says farmers are the only ones impacted by crop failures.
“It’s going to be more expensive to feed cattle. It’s going to be more expensive not just in corn and soybean production, but in some of the other crops that are grown in this part of the world. When there’s not much produced it’s going to drive up the price,” said Bunton.
Bunton says the soybean crop can still be salvaged if we get appreciable rain in the next few weeks.