Spring rain helps central Kansas corn crops

Local

With the mix of rain and various droughts this past year, farmers are gearing up for corn harvest.

Barton County farmer David Le Roy said once a week he takes a walk through his corn field.

“Well you take a look at the leaves and you look for insects,” he said. “Right now, that’s all you can be scouting because you can’t do weed controlling anymore.”

With the recent rain, Le Roy said the insects and weeds are low, and his crop is looking a lot better than last year.

“It’s largely a matter of luck,” he said. “Last year, this field got flooded three times, so it didn’t produce what it would have otherwise.”

However, he said the flooding helped with one thing this season, keeping the soil moist during the dryer days.

“A lot of what’s been operating until now is subsoil moisture, but sometimes that runs out and that has to get more rain,” he said.

It’s still too early to tell if the yield will be successful in the next coming months, he said. However, he is expecting about 80 bushels this season.

“It’s 16 around and probably 30 kernels long,” Le Roy said as he showed off the corn. “You multiply that out and take it by your population and there’s a formula you can use to get an estimate on your yield.”

Le Roy said if he can get a few more inches of rain in the coming month, his corn will be even better. 

“It’s always a challenge to do better than the year before,” he said.

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