While this isn’t the earliest harvest ever for Phillips County soybeans, Goodson said there is a good premium for August delivery.

“If growers can deliver soybeans this month to Helena, their basis is 40 cents over the November futures contract at some locations,” Stiles said. “September delivery is 30 cents over November. In other words, the grower picks up an additional 10 cents per bushel for delivery this month.”

Rice is showing strong yields --180-200 bushels an acre in his counties, Goodson said.

However, “the big crop is corn. There are many saying they’re harvesting more than 220 bushels per acre. It’s too early to have a good estimate of a county average, but I’m starting to think the number will be 180-185 bushels an acre. That’s 20 to 25 bushels above the five-year average.”

There’s an additional bonus for early harvest: Labor Day weekend off.

“Several producers will have corn and soybeans and their fields worked up by the end of August,” said Gus Wilson, Chicot County Extension staff chair. “It’s just unreal.”

Wilson said that by the end of the week, he expected corn to be 80-90 percent and soybeans to be 15 percent harvested in his county.  

Fertilizer on slow track

The slowed barge traffic is becoming a factor in the fertilizer markets, Stiles said. “There is no shortage of urea, it’s just in the wrong place. Low river levels have caused problems getting fertilizer moved upriver from the Gulf.

“If river levels remain low, this will certainly add transportation cost as rail or truck will be the only alternatives. This will be an issue to watch, particularly for growers wanting to make fall nitrogen applications or top dress wheat this winter.”

For more information about crop production, contact your county Extension office or visit www.uaex.edu. For drought information, see here.