CornHOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (10/10/17) — Harvest of crops has begun in Hopkins County, which is expected to run later into the year due to the mild winter and rainy start of the planting season.

Hopkins County Extension Agent Curtis Dame said farmers that planted acres of soybean crops found themselves replanting entire fields due to slug problems causing total losses, while the hay crop quality has increased compared to previous years.

“Livestock farmers are reseeding hay grounds,” Dame said. “That’s the prime activity right now.”

He pointed out it is still too early to harvest soybean crops planted late, and reminds drivers to be patient as farmers travel to their destinations along the roads driving farm equipment.

“Farmers could be out until December,” Dame said.

Dame also explained grain prices are bringing 80-90 cents less than the Chicago Board of Trade list price due to leftover crops from last year and low river levels along the Mississippi that affects dam lock mechanisms, driving transport prices up. If farmers have a strategy to store grain, they could make more money as market prices rise and demand increases.

Small farmers without grain bin storage capability are taking grain to the Lansing Trade Group grain elevator, located along 41-A in Madisonville, which is a great help to area farmers, Dame said.

“On-farm storage grain bins will be the key to profitability in the 2017-18 market year,” he said.

The southern end of the county received more rain, which has affected corn growers, while some northern Hopkins corn plots have been yielding up to 300 bushels an acre, Dame said, compared to 100 bushels per acre farther south. Farmers have had a phenomenal year for local wheat crops at 90 bushels plus per acre.

In the last Department of Agriculture census taken in 2012, statistics show that Hopkins County had 162,955 acres of cropland. There were 608 small farms and 29 large. $107 million is generated each year on average, which makes agriculture the second largest industry in the county behind coal. A small farm consists of 499 acres or less, while a large farm consists of 1,000 acres or more. He noted that livestock farming is also on the increase around Hopkins.

Dame said the Department of Agriculture will be conducting a new census this year, and he expects to see the number of farms increase in the area.

Hopkins County Cooperative Extension Office in Madisonville offers a network of scientific informational assistance including livestock, the latest weed and insect control technology, frost damage control, soil testing as well as personal gardening.

For more information, visit http://hopkins.ca.uky.edu/content/ag-natural-resources.

Doreen Dennis
SurfKY News Director
Region 2

 

 

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