Inclement weather has effect on current crop harvesting

Staff photo by Albert Villegas

Scenes like this between El Campo and Wharton and across other parts of Wharton County have been numerous and common where rows of crops are planted and affected by heavy rains.

Planting delays earlier in the year and continuous moisture in the area have producers and elevator operators playing a guessing game on when the grain and corn harvest will officially begin.

Harvest has been delayed, according to Steven Craig, who is over United Ag’s grain division for El Campo, Hillje and at the Port of Victoria.

“The delay is due to the rains that we had during planting and throughout the growing season. It seems that the crop wasn’t affected too adversely by the rains, and we should see decent yields once we begin,” Craig said.

The grain elevator at Hillje was repaired earlier in the year during routine maintenance of United Ag facilities in preparation for the harvest, and it stands ready to receive truckloads of grain sorghum and corn.

Last year, United Ag received its first inbound truck on June 27. Such is not the case this go round.

“We have yet to receive a truck this season. We are, however, expecting some milo to start coming in today,” Craig said Tuesday.

Typically the grain harvest wraps up towards the end of July to the first week of August. Craig foresees a prolonged harvest this year.

“I expect to continue receiving through mid-August and possibly into late August if we continue seeing rain events pop up through harvest. We are tracking a storm in the Gulf as we speak. We’re hoping that it doesn’t turn towards our area obviously.”

Craig will know more regarding the outlook of bushel weight and moisture content after this week. Drought last summer produced low bushel weights and a burst of rain at the time made the moisture content too high to harvest.

“I expect it to really kick off next week, and especially so if we miss this storm later this week. If we miss the storm, we could see a rush of grain and wrap things up within a few weeks. If it rains and draws it out, we could see similar issues as last year,” he said.

Whether sprouting or mold is an issue remains to be seen.

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