Kansas farmer on corn crop: 'Ouch'

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) - Kansas corn conditions are not looking promising compared to years past, according to agriculture experts.

"This is not what a farmer wants to see. This is not what they want to have to do. I mean, especially when you think of the investment they have in this," said Sedgwick County Agriculture Extension Agent Zach Simon.

Zach Simon said many corn fields across south central Kansas are short, shriveled and brown, adding they should appear tall and bountiful.

"Typically, we would expect to see a corn plant that is more than about 4-foot tall. I mean, this should be over my head or at least even with my head," Simon said.

Issues with the 2017 corn crop started back in June and July when areas of Kansas experienced extreme heat and little rain.

"We were too hot and too dry for too long at the wrong time for this crop," Simon said.

Simon said some farmers were forced to chop their fields for silage because it would have cost more to harvest.

"To help salvage what they could for animal feed because that has more value than what the grain would have just because there is so little grain out here," he said.

According to the latest USDA Kansas crop progress and condition report, the 2017 corn harvest does not look as good as the 2016 harvest. For example, as of August 28, 2017 four percent of the corn rated very poor, 12 poor, 29 fair, 41 good and 14 excellent. The August 2016 report rated 1 percent of the corn very poor, 6 poor, 25 fair, 56 good and 12 excellent.

Simon said while the numbers are disappointing, he is optimistic.

"There's always next year," he said.

Simon said while the recent rain won't help the corn crop it will benefit soybeans and sorghum.

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