Sileage cutting under way in areaNew data shows drought conditions relatively unchanged.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
Some farmers in the Mitchell area have given up on their drought-stricken crops and are starting to cut corn for silage.
Chad Blindauer, a rural Mitchell farmer and president of the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council, said it’s hard to say how many will convert their poor corn crop into silage or bales, but he suspects many will.
He also thinks some farmers will hold out as long as they can, given the price of corn and the potential for profit if even a small amount of corn makes it to harvest.
“If there’s much corn out there worth harvesting, the guys are going to harvest it,” Blindauer said.
The closing bid for corn Thursday was $8.11 per bushel at the Mitchell Farmers Alliance Elevator.
The U.S. Drought Monitor Map for this week, released Thursday, shows the severity of the drought in South Dakota is relatively unchanged since last week. About 20 percent of the state was in extreme drought last week, compared to this week’s 21 percent. This week, about 61 percent of the state is in severe drought, compared to 59 percent last week.
Blindauer said many farmers started cutting silage a week or two weeks ago south of Mitchell, near Parkston and Corsica. A few have started cutting this week just south of Mitchell. He suspects many more will begin cutting north of Mitchell in the next few weeks.
Blindauer said farmers must wait for the right conditions before cutting for silage. His crops are a little too green yet, he said, so he’s waiting about two weeks before ensiling his crop.
However, other farmers may not cut silage, either because they don’t need the silage or don’t have neighbors who want to buy it for cattle feed.
“Years ago, every farm had cattle. Now, not everybody even has neighbors who can buy it or who have cows,” Blindauer said.