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Spring grain harvests ‘really good to excellent’

By Sara Gregory
Salisbury Post
Farmers harvesting wheat in the coming weeks are looking at an especially good year.
Farmers could harvest as much as 100 bushels per acre, up from a normal harvest of about 65 to 75 bushels per acre, Cooperative Extension Director Jim Cowden said.
“The wheat crop looks like it’s going to be really good to excellent,” Cowden said. “They’re harvesting it right now. It’ll be in full swing … (for) the next few weeks.”
Wheat was seen growing as early as late February and early March, Cowden said. Cool spring weather and rain showers helped.
“This spring was just the ideal condition for it,” he said.
Rowan County typically grows about 5,800 acres of wheat. This year, Cowden estimates as much as 7,000 acres of wheat were planted. After wheat prices rose nationally last year, local farmers planted more.
Wheat, corn and soybeans are the county’s biggest crops, Cowden said. The county grows 16,500 acres of soybeans.
Some farmers might try a “double” crop of soybeans after the wheat harvest is finished and plant soybeans in fields where wheat was harvested.
But Cowden said unless it rains more, the double crop probably will struggle.
Last year’s soybean crop didn’t do well either.
“There were fields that farmers didn’t even run both (crops) on,” Cowden said. “Some even made hay out of it because it wasn’t going to make beans.”
Contact Sara Gregory at 704-797-4257 or sgregory@salisburypost.com.

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