11:39am

Thu August 23, 2012
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Tenn. Corn Crop Likely Smallest Since 2006

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Tennessee’s corn harvest is three to four weeks ahead of schedule because an unusually warm spring allowed farmers to plant earlier.

Analysts were predicting a bumper crop this year, but estimates fell steadily as the summer progressed and drought conditions persisted. The U.S. Department of Agriculture now says this year’s corn crop will likely be the smallest since 2006.

When WMOT News spoke to Rutherford County farmer Donald Blankenship back in June he was worried about losing his entire corn crop to drought and heat. Blankenship is harvesting corn now and says his yields are off by more than 80 percent. Crop insurance will cover some of the loss.

“Most producers these days have got crop insurance and other ways to mitigate their risks, so as long as you were prepared – had some tools in place – you’ll be fine. If you don’t have crop insurance, didn’t have some other tools in place to help protect your operation,,,those people are the ones who’re gonna’ get hurt.”

Blankenship says his bean crop is in good shape and his pastures have recovered. He even thinks he’ll be able to cut enough hay to get his livestock through the winter.