When Stanley Walters’ combine rolled to a stop in his cornfield, a smile spread across his face.
The Marengo County farmer, like many across the state, is on track to have one of his best corn crops ever.
“Years like this make farming fun,” said Walters, chairman of the Alabama Farmers Federation State Wheat & Feed Grains Committee. “Not that it didn’t have challenges, but we had enough of the right kind of weather to make a good crop.”
Corn harvest is winding down in Alabama, and farmers are predicted to see record yields statewide, according to UDSA’s Crop Production Report. The report predicts state farmers will average a record 145 bushels an acre with an overall production increase of 40 percent over 2012.
Alabama farmers planted an estimated 300,000 acres of corn this year. High spring corn prices and regular crop rotations led lots of farmers to plant corn instead of other crops, according to Alabama Farmers Federation Wheat & Feed Grains Division Director Buddy Adamson.
“Along with more planted acres, the projected increase is due to good yields thanks to timely rains and favorable temperatures when corn needed it most,” Adamson said.
Walters, who farms with his son, Clay, planted only 700 acres of corn this year instead of the 2,000 he intended. An unusually wet spring changed their planting intentions; instead, they planted more soybeans – 3,200 acres of them.
“Grains are the only crops we grow on our farm,” said Walters, who rotates wheat, soybeans and corn on his land. “The good news is, even though we didn’t get all the corn planted we wanted, our soybean crop looks excellent.”
Walters expects his corn to average 160 bushels per acre. This follows an excellent wheat harvest, and with soybeans looking good, there’s plenty of reasons to smile.
“The crops aren’t all in yet, and a lot can happen,” he said. “But so far, it’s been a good year on Walters Farm.”