Harvest stalled in many areas of the state the last week of September but resumed as the calendar flipped to October. While rain delayed harvest in some regions, areas like Barbour County needed moisture to soften the soil for digging peanuts.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported most Alabama corn is harvested — 91 percent as of Sept. 30.
Cotton defoliation began two weeks ago in north Alabama. Limestone County’s Jessie Hobbs said his picker is still in the shed for another couple weeks. He said some southern areas of Limestone County could begin next week.
“We’ve picked all our corn except about 40 acres, and if the weather holds, we’ll get that done this week,” Hobbs said. “Once we’re done with corn, we’ll change the heads on the combine and start right into the beans.”
Corn yields range from good to very good. Hobbs said local farmers report yields from 120-250 bushels per acre — with the latter being on irrigated land.
Cotton and soybean crops also are looking promising in some areas of the state, said the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Carla Hornady.
“The lingering rain experienced in some areas of south Alabama seriously delayed harvest, and yields could be affected,” said Hornady, the Federation’s director of Cotton, Soybean and Wheat & Feed Grain divisions. “The state’s cotton crop appears to be good, with projected yields varying depending on which areas received excessive rainfall late in the season.”
Early soybean yields look promising, while late-planted soybeans may suffer reduced yields from lack of rain during early growth.