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Corn harvest yields vary for area farmers

The harvest of corn for silage has gone smoothly in Roosevelt and Curry counties, and yields have varied around the area, according to farmers and harvesters.

Most corn grown in the area is chopped for silage, which is used to feed cattle, said Kevin Breshears of SPRA-Green Custom Harvesting.

Roosevelt County farmer Rick Ledbetter said the corn silage harvest is going strong, and he has finished early. The lack of recent rains, and therefore the lack of mud, has allowed harvesters to get their equipment in the fields without delay, he said.

Ledbetter said different amounts of rain have caused the corn to yield different amounts of silage.

“I think it’s all over the board,” he said of yields.

Ledbetter said his harvest was good, but Breshears said the harvests he’d seen around Roosevelt and Curry counties were average to a little less than average. The heat and less rain in August and September caused the crop to pull energy away from forming the ears and stalks in order to make seed.

“Its purpose is survival,” Breshears said of the corn’s behavior.

While rain earlier in the season set the crop up for a good harvest, the heat and dryness reduced the crop and early optimism.

Alan Anderson of Anderson Dairy agreed the harvest varied, and said his corn for silage showed good yields and good quality this year, because of rains coming at the right times.

Anderson said local dairies have a sufficient amount of silage, but many owners have chosen to use less silage this year due to low milk prices last year.

Dairy owners have to pay for silage all at once, but if they feed more hay instead, they can pay for it throughout the year, he said.