Local Farmers Happy with 2016 Corn Harvest
Corn fields are clearing up fast as we head into winter.
Local farmers work hard as the season wraps up and they say it has been one of the most successful seasons yet for the corn harvest.
“Our corn crop is very good this year,” said Kevin Skunes. “We’re very happy with it. With the low commodity prices, one defense against that is to have a good crop so when you do have low and you have a good crop it really helps out at the end of the year.”
This season’s corn is going for $2.50 to $2.75 cents per bushel.
A year ago, it was close to four dollars a bushel.
The price is lower than usual because supply is greater than demand.
“In North Dakota, we’re looking at near record acres planted and a record yield at 137 bushels based on the USDA’s estimate, that gives us just short of 500 million bushels of corn in North Dakota for the state,” said Dale Ihry, Executive Director for the North Dakota Corn Growers Association and Corn Council.
Corn was projected to be the most profitable crop this year which is why they planted so much of it.
The excess is helping farmers break even.
Kevin says there’s absolutely no way to know how a harvest is going to look.
It all depends on one thing….Mother Nature
“Some years she really smiles on us,” said Skunes. “Some years she doesn’t. This year was a very good year.”
The balance of rain and shine allowed for him to harvest without paying extra to dry at the elevator.
“When you have a dry season like this, then the corn has matured in the field and it is drying down,” he added.
In Skunes’ case, the equation of low prices and good corn worked out for everyone.
“Most of our corn goes to live stock,” he explained. “We grind about 25% of it for ethanol. If the ethanol producers like that, they can buy the corn at a decent price that goes into our liquid fuel supply.”
The USDA is estimating a national record production of just around 15 billion bushels of corn.