TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) --In many parts of Arkansas, the corn harvest has begun... And rice is not too far behind.
The U of A Extension service says this may be a pretty good year for farmers.
The pumps and power units are silent now in as the corn harvest in Poinsett County draws near.
Bud Bingham holds several mature corn kernels in his hand.
"When we get black layer that means we're through irrigating."
Says Bingham who farms with his son near Trumann. Bingham said compared to last year's rains this has been nearly a perfect year for corn.
"Last year we had too much rain and we lost a lot of Nitrogen out of the soil which dropped yields. This year it's been hot and dry for the last month and that's when we made the corn crop . And we think we've got a good corn crop ready for harvest."
Besides corn the Bingham's also raise rice and soybeans. This year insects have been hard on the soybean crop.
Bingham's brother in law is an ag pilot, he was spraying a soybean field just down from the farm shop while I visited Bingham's farm. Bingham says stinkbugs migrating out of corn fields are trying to eat his crop.
"When the corn matures out the stinkbugs are leaving the corn and going to our soybean patches. We're just in a battle with them right now trying to keep them out of our soybeans."
Rick Thompson is the Staff Chair for Extension in Poinsett County. According to the extension's preliminary report, overall it could be a good year. Weather has caused lots of variations in growth for rice and soybeans. Corn is starting to make a strong inroad in the county.
Thompson, "We're not a big corn county like some counties but it fits well in the rotation. And with cotton prices down like they were I think a lot of people have started growing corn."
Bingham predicts a good corn and rice harvest with problems like lack of storage and long lines at elevators dealing with the products. He says he is afraid that rice and soybeans will come ready at the same time and since he only has one combine and limited manpower the fall harvest has issues already.
He thinks the rice crop will decrease next year due to low prices and corn has replaced much of the cotton crop in the county. Corn, he says may be quite profitable.
Bingham, "Yesterday or day before we had a 13 cent increase in one day. That's almost unheard of in corn. So somebody's wanting corn right now."
On a scale of 1 to 10 Rick, what do you think this year's harvest is going to be like?
Bingham thinks the 2010 growing season is going to be good for him. We'll have to wait and see on that because it's always mother nature that has the controlling hand.