Harvesting in Arkansas is not only showing good-looking corn and rice, it’s also generating producer smiles, say Extension agents with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

“Compared to last year, we are having a (timelier) and earlier harvest of both crops,” said Keith Perkins, Lonoke County Extension agent.

“Our earliest field came from a very sandy field, pivot irrigated with a ‘windshield wipe’ pivot,” said Don Plunkett, Jefferson County Extension staff chair. “The grower said that because of the yield on that field, he ‘couldn’t wait to get to his good corn’.”

That grower was running his combine through corn on July 27.

While some producers may see lower yields because of ear rot and diplodia stalk rot, Plunkett said, “even then, one grower said he may end up having the best corn crop he’s ever had.”

Scott Monfort, Extension plant pathologist, said the triple-digit heat exacted a small toll. “The corn looked good despite the heat damage. We did learn with corn this year that when there’s a lot of stress and a producer doesn’t stay on top of the fertility and water and disease monitoring, some of these ‘minor’ diseases have the potential to say, ‘I’m here’ and take down yield like a major disease.”

Among the minor diseases he’s seen in corn are sheath blight and anthracnose.

Gus Wilson, Chicot County Extension staff chair, said he hadn’t heard any reports of major diseases. “We had a little southern rust at the very end, but if any corn was treated, I am not aware of it.”

Chicot County corn is 85 to 90 percent harvested.

“This crop has beaten last year, no doubt,” Wilson said. “I have the county yield pegged at 180 bushels per acre and there has been a lot cut at 200 and more. I’ve heard stories that some yields have gone as high as 235 to 250 plus — though I don’t have any documentation on that.”

“Corn harvest is in full swing in Prairie County,” said Brent Griffin, the county’s Extension staff chair. “Yields seem to be holding up fairly well where good irrigation practices were done. “Yields are from 165 to 225 dry, one producer called to say his yield monitor would run between 195 to 275 bushels per acre in the same field, field average was 225 bushel per acre dry.”

Both Wilson and Griffin said there’s been no mention of aflatoxin.

Griffin said the rice crop was looking strong in Prairie County. “Rice harvest is in full swing this week with lines forming at the local driers where growers deliver. Yields are all over the board on the Grand Prairie. One grower averaged 253 bushels per acre dry on CL151 for an 80-acre field. (He) crossed the paved road to harvest CL XL745 field (and) only cut 159 bushels per acre dry.

“Both fields looked good though.”

Griffin did say there were a few blank kernels, but “the early planted rice is the best, with yields falling on later-planted acres.”

Griffin said there were reports of bacterial panicle blight on middle- to late-planted rice. “The producers will be draining those fields in the coming days to prepare for harvest. Yields will be affected, but we don’t yet know how much.”

Perkins was seeing a mixed bag, with some corn producers having finished harvest while others hadn’t yet started. Some of the county’s rice producers had also begun harvesting.

For information on crop production, visit www.uaex.edu, or contact your county Extension office.