By Chad Frey

Newton Kansan

The state corn harvest is quickly approaching, and the outlook is for a strong harvest. The same is true for Harvey County.

Kansas State Research and Extension Agent Ryan Flaming said the current corn crop in Harvey County is promising a strong harvest.

"The rains we had helped the corn where it did not drown out," Flaming said. "The high majority of Harvey County is in good to excellent shape with corn."

Kansas corn is preparing for a positive harvest season with the corn crop condition rated 40-percent good to excellent. This week's temperatures return to normal levels across the state following a cool first half of the month. This means, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Progress Report, there were six days suitable for field work statewide.

The crop was rated 6-percent excellent; 34-percent good; 32-percent fair; 17-percent poor and 11-percent very poor. The report rated topsoil moisture at 8-percent very short, 20-percent short, 65-percent adequate and 17-percent surplus.

Data collected was provided at the county level by USDA Farm Service Agency and the KSU Extension Service.

Flaming said those numbers include parts of western Kansas where the crop is in poor shape.

"The condition (in Harvey County) is pretty good right now," Flaming said. "We are in really good shape right now if we don't have an early frost. Moisture-wise we are in really good shape. We need to see when the first frost will hit."

Although cold, wet weather slowed spring planting, Kansas growers planted 3.1 million acres of corn in a two-week time period in May. Nationally, corn farmers planted at a record pace, planting about 41 million acres of corn in one week in May after planting delays.

Late summer rains that most areas of Kansas enjoyed boosted the Kansas corn crop and saved crops in many areas of the state that had been suffering from a dry spell that lasted from mid-June to mid-July.

"We are on schedule for harvest," Flaming said. "We were harvesting at about this time last year but will start next month. This year it will be September and October."