Corn Farmers Expect Huge Drop In Harvest

By: April Davis
By: April Davis

It's nearly harvest time for many corn producers in Eastern Carolina, and those we spoke to say it's not going to be pretty.

Beaufort county based Burbage farms says it's expecting half to 80% of it's crop to be damaged from the excessive drought. They expect to harvest 50,000 bushels- down substantially from a normal crop yield of 180,000. Farm president David Burbage Jr. says an inch of rain a week is what he'd like when growing corn, but he didn't see significant rain fall until it was too late.

"The corn is just beyond health. The corn plant is shutting down. The kernel's made what it's going to make, and it's in the drying down stage and rain just doesn't effect what happens to the corn plant from here on out," said Burbage.

Statewide corn to grain production so far this year is down 10,000 acres from last year. Burbage says the big hit this time could result in higher prices at grocers.

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  • by Robin Location: Bath on Aug 12, 2011 at 02:50 PM
    I am from a farming family and yes we still farm. I just wanted to let everyone know that farming is a business and yes we do have crop insurance. Farming is a very risky business, we gamble everyday with the weather and prices. Just because corn goes to $8.00/bu. doesn't mean that we can contract for that amount. Plus chemicals, fertilize, rent and insurance goes up with the grain prices also. Not all farmers were born with a silver spoon in their mouths like some people think we are. You can't characterize all farmers the same way. Farming is very stressful. Just remember the next time you sit down to eat or put your clothes on that you live in America where the farmers have the right to grow crops and sell them so you can benefit. I don't want to end on a negative note because we do love farming the land that God has allowed us to take care of. Thank God for the farmers because we would be in worst shape than we are in Amercia if we had to ship our food in from over seas.
  • by guess who? Location: NC on Aug 11, 2011 at 03:21 PM
    Hey David & Jay, Next stop Hollywood!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by farm wife Location: hyde county on Aug 11, 2011 at 08:28 AM
    When you sit down to eat tonight, thank God for your food, for the weather He gives us to grow it,and for the farmer who despite too much rain, not enough rain, too hot, or too cold remains optimistic and hopes for next year.
    • reply
      by Billy on Aug 11, 2011 at 01:54 PM in reply to farm wife
      I appreciate ya :)
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 11, 2011 at 02:18 PM in reply to farm wife
      :-) amen farmwife!
  • by Confused Location: ENC on Aug 11, 2011 at 07:26 AM
    not enough corn to go around? prices up? How about your gas mileage? has it gone down per gallon over the last year> wonder why? Here you go. Ethanol. That's why. The ethanol we are so happy to burn in our automobiles because it burns cleaner, is why your gas mileage is down 4-5 miles per gallon. and the reason corn prices are up, because it takes corn to make ethanol. Now, it's not financially profitable to make ethanol yet, so the ethanol plants are losing money, but still make this swill that we have to put in our tanks. Not very long ago, the first ethanol plant in NC went into bankruptcy, but still operates, with protection from it's creditors. Personally, I don't buy ethanol gas, but it's harder and harder to find it. There's the reason for the rise in corn prices and the shortage of corn. Might as well be making more moonshine. sure is more profitable.
  • by Jonathan Location: formerly plymouth on Aug 11, 2011 at 06:18 AM
    Don't critisize the farmer with your mouth full!!!!
  • by Lubba Location: Yep on Aug 11, 2011 at 06:10 AM
    Hey everyone, just wanted you all to know that I just got a call from the Prez. We talked about the drought and bad corn crop and he assurred me it was Bush's fault.
  • by Question? Location: Beaufort Co. on Aug 11, 2011 at 05:31 AM
    If the corn has stopped producing (at least a month ago!) why are some farmers still irrigating corn that is turning brown?
  • by Appreciative on Aug 11, 2011 at 05:08 AM
    I agree with Sam that money needs to stay in THIS country. We as Americans need to quit trying to help every other country in the world but our own. For far too long our Government has thought the way you fix problems is throw money at it. With the dwindling value of the dollar and a country that is in as much debt as we are, the option of throwing money at the problem isn't there anymore. I'll never speak ill-will of a farmer, a man who has to gamble on the weather every year and hope things work out. God bless them for what they do and the chances they take. The next time you buy produce, vegetables or even meat, thank a farmer for without them you would have nothing to eat unless you labored and grew the vegetables, produce and the animals for the meat yourself.
  • by ENC Farmer on Aug 11, 2011 at 02:11 AM
    Taxman, insurance may pay some, but before you speak ill of a farmer, try to walk a day in his shoes.Thank God we pay for crop insuance. Make sure not to talk with your mouth full next time!
    • reply
      by county man on Aug 11, 2011 at 04:44 AM in reply to ENC Farmer
      If I walked a day in the shoes of the farmers in my part of the county , I wouldn't be able to walk a chalkline. They drive around drunk most of the time. Got their big houses, big trucks, big tractors, and big boats. Always praying for hail and hurricanes. Havent seen any poor farmers in a long time!
      • reply
        by Farmer on Aug 11, 2011 at 03:18 PM in reply to county man
        Sounds like County man is another one of those that are sucking from the government tit that won't be happy till he gets more of what the working man makes! I'm a farmer and I don't ride around drunk in a big truck but I do have a big tractor! Anytime you want to make the payments for me or take on the responsibility of paying my debts just get your check book out and stroke me a check! Also don't forget we farmers are paying some high taxes to help fund the treasury where your check comes from!!!
    • reply
      by taxman on Aug 11, 2011 at 09:47 AM in reply to ENC Farmer
      Nothing ill spoken about farmers collecting their crop insurance.Just a fact of life; let folks know that farming and farmers have insurance protection just as you may have on your property. This is considerably different from a small retail business person or other professional who does not get US taxpayer subsidized insurance or guaranteed minimum prices on their inventory or product or output.Just the facts you understand. BTW here is a graphic on where the farm subsidies go:
  • by Sam on Aug 11, 2011 at 12:26 AM
    You know. The US is facing a drought but the government can't pay it's own bills, and will say there is no money to help farmers and ranchers, yet, in another news story on either Fox or CNN, the US is going to give Africa $500 million dollars in drought relief aid. Can't pay our own bills and debts but we sure as heck are going to give money we don't have to countries who don't need it as bad as we do. Already spent millions helping 3rd world countries and 99% have not shown any improvement. Africa is drought stricken all the time and all the money in the world isn't going to help. Don't see any other country offering to help us. Granted we can't do anything for water supplies but we need to start helping this country and stop helping others.
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