Prolonged drought has taken a heavy toll on Texas corn but reports of drought conditions throughout much of the Midwest may push prices up.

“Most yields are below normal due to the drought throughout the state, says Texas Corn Producers Board Executive Director David Gibson from his Lubbock, Texas, office.

“Irrigated corn in the High Plains is making good progress since it had a small reprieve from the high temperatures and received a few spotty showers the last part of June and the first week in July,” Gibson says. “Producers again need cooler temperatures to make normal yields.”

Gibson says prices fluctuate with news from other corn-producing areas.

“There has been a good increase in the general price of corn the last few weeks even though some ground was lost this week. The markets have been choppy, and will continue to be, as long as a heat trend continues in the Midwest.”

Gibson says demand for corn from ethanol plants is “helping stabilize and strengthen the market.”

He says the corn board recommends farmers who have not begun harvest should take stock before they move combines into the fields. “Because of high heat and drought they should contact insurance agents promptly. If they determine they have yield and quality losses, producers should work with their insurance representatives or crop adjusters to adjust yield and quality loss.

“It is very important that producers make every effort to follow all guidelines defined in their crop insurance policies to prevent slow pay or possibly no pay at all,” Gibson says.

He says farmers in some areas have experienced delays in adjusters examining fields. “Farmers should notify TCPB of delays so we can keep track of information and use it to help improve the manner in which claims must be filed.”

He also encourages farmers to contact the board about other insurance issues. “The more documentation we have, the better chance we’ll have in helping make changes in the procedures for the upcoming year.”