October 19, 2011 Edition

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Peanut harvest is underway at Greg Gill's farm located off Lawrence County Road 406 near the Lawrence/Randolph County line. Several farmers planted peanuts this year after a test peanut crop was harvested last year with good results.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Harvest providing mixed
results in Lawrence County

Shantelle Prater
Staff Writer

Lawrence County Extension Agent Herb Ginn reported on Tuesday that the county is nearing the completion of harvest on some crops.

"Approximately 80 percent of the rice has been harvested and about 30 percent of the soybeans have been harvested," Ginn stated.

According to Terry Wilson, owner of Wilson Flying Service, several if not all rice farmers have encountered difficulties this harvest season due to flooding this spring.

"The cold weather caught the maturing rice heads off guard and a lot of them have not reached the maturity level for harvest," said Wilson.

Wilson said several farmers planted rice past the planting date in June due to flooding.

"The farmers who actually took a chance and flew their rice crop in are the ones that completed the harvest like normal," Wilson said.

Wilson, who planted approximately 7,000 acres of rice by air, stated that roughly 40 to 50 percent of rice in the county didn't reach full maturity as normal.

"Rice power units also went under water causing farmers to plant late," said Wilson. "Farmers had to go back and drain them and fix the units. I'd say several had problems from the water getting in the crank case, and that's just the beginning."

According to Ginn, reports of yields on rice and soybeans have been all over the board with many being less than satisfactory.

"There are many possible reasons for the lower yields," Ginn said. "One reason could be the season's very hot summer, which provided less than ideal growing conditions."

In addition to rice and beans, some grain sorghum remains in the field, but most of the corn crop has been harvested. Ginn stated that approximately 80 percent of the 2,000 acres of peanuts in Lawrence County have been harvested.

"Some peanut growers should complete harvest possibly this week depending on the amount of rainfall we get," Ginn said.

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