Corn harvest for grain began in Tennessee on a limited scale the first week in September, well behind both last year and the five-year average.

Despite the delay, producers are happy with early yields.

Hot, dry weather across the state resulted in 6.5 days suitable for field work. Row crops are rated in good-to-excellent condition and, despite cotton development being behind, producers expect strong yields. Other activities that took place last week included applying pesticides, cutting hay and harvesting tobacco.

Topsoil moisture levels were rated 15 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 6 percent short, 88 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus. Temperatures averaged 2 to 4 degrees above normal across Tennessee last week. Rainfall averaged 0.14 inches below normal across middle Tennessee and 0.34 to 0.57 inches below normal across the remainder of the state last week.

What the county Extension agents say

“Producers are happy with early corn harvest yields! It’s good to see them smiling! Several cotton producers are finished with spray programs. The soybean crop could use some moisture, which could help late beans go from good to great.” — Walter Battle, Haywood County.

“With rains, everything looks good especially soybeans and corn. Cotton needs warmer temperatures, but overall it looks good in most places. In areas of excess water it’s in fair condition. Corn is drying down with harvest to begin soon. Beef cattle and pastures are in excellent condition.” — J.C. Dupree, Lauderdale County.

“Giles County missed out on most of the rain that came through over the (Labor Day) weekend. Several acres of third cutting of hay put up last week. Still no soybean rust confirmed within the county.”— Kevin Rose, Giles County.

“No rain and temperatures in the upper 90s have been good for harvesting hay. Summer grasses are abundant. Soybeans and corn continue to look good. Corn silage harvest is continuing with good production reported. It was a good week for tobacco harvest.” — Ruth Correll, Wilson County.

To read more about Tennessee row crop conditions to date, click here.