GREEN COUNTRY FARMERS CONCERNED ABOUT UPCOMING CORN HARVEST
News 9 - August 4, 2023 6:32 am
PRYOR, Okla. –
Farmers across green country are preparing to harvest corn, one of the largest harvest seasons of the year, but they’re concerned the harvest won’t be as big as in previous years.
In the scorching grip of summer’s unyielding drought it takes hard work, resiliency and resourcefulness to ensure this harvest season is a success.
“Before the sun comes up and after it goes down,” Drew McCollough said.
He and his family manage more than 1000 acres of farmland in Pryor with more than 100 acres of corn and says without family helping each other out it would be impossible.
“You get into some bigger acreage and it takes quite a bit of time to manage it. You gotta pay attention pretty much all day every day and you gotta be around it,” McCollough said.
OSU Cropping System Specialist Josh Lofton says it wasn’t just the drought this year or the record temperatures, but pests called Chinch Bugs have also become a problem for farmers.
“It’s something that has really got some of our growers that have had it really bad. It has killed fields, it has severely decreased yield potentials, and has just been an overall challenge to the crop,” Lofton said.
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture says corn is the state’s 7th most valuable crop and brought in more than $184 million last year.
“From an economic standpoint, corn is a very valuable crop as is a lot of our summer crops. They work so well together because they fit in different parts of the state,” Lofton said.
McCollough says he is hopeful that this year will still yield a bountiful harvest despite all the challenges his family and others famers are facing.
“I think the corn could favor pretty well. Got some good fertilizer on it hopefully for most people and keep the weeds out of it to keep it from having to compete with anything else,” McCollough said.
Corn harvest begins in just a couple of weeks but farmers like Drew and his family say it’s right back to work on the next crop.