Field corn and soybeans are the BIG 2 farm crops harvested here in DeKalb County. But that’s not all. Fall harvest also includes specialty crops like apples, pumpkins, red raspberries, grapes, gourds, squash, Indian corn, popcorn, sweet corn and a few other crops.
From these crops, we get a variety of products such as food, fiber, fuel, and fall décor. And farm crops provide value to our local economy ($330 million annually in DeKalb County), plus jobs and tax dollars.
Read on to learn more about the crops being harvested this fall.
Soybeans are the second largest crop, produced on one-fourth of the county’s farmland. Over 118,000 acres of soybeans are harvested and used for livestock feed, exports, biodiesel and food.
Large orange pumpkins make great jack-o-lanterns and smaller pumpkins may be used for pies. Or pick some of the newer hybrids that are white, green or have warts! All sizes and colors of pumpkins can be picked from pumpkin patches or purchased at farms, farm stands, and at local orchards.
Corn is the top crop in the county. Farmers grow corn on nearly two-thirds of the farmland amounting to over 216,000 acres which will be harvested in the fall. Field corn is used for livestock feed, ethanol, exports, and food.
You don’t have to go to Napa Valley to find grapes. There are vineyards in DeKalb County and surrounding counties that grow grapes. These grapes are processed into red and white wines and sold locally at wineries and in retail stores.
Squash, Gourds & Indian Corn
There are all kinds of squash but acorn, butternut, and yellow squash are the most popular for eating. Sometimes squash is also used for fall decorations along with gourds, Indian and broom corn. You will find these fall crops at farm stands and orchards in the area.
Fall raspberries are ripe for the picking in September. Visit a local orchard and pick-your-own red raspberries or purchase them at farm stands. Raspberries are such a good, sweet treat!
Apple orchards and farms grow a variety of apples for eating. Local orchards also sell apple products like cider, donuts, pies, caramel apples and even hard apple cider! Orchards offer pick-your-own apples or purchase apples in their stores.
There’s some popcorn grown in DeKalb County. Unlike field corn, ears of popcorn are much smaller. Once popcorn has been picked and shelled, it’s ready to be popped and enjoyed. Buttery popcorn is the best!
Some farmers are still harvesting sweet corn in September. By planting sweet corn at different intervals in the spring, corn on the cob can be enjoyed from summer to fall. Local farm stands sell sweet corn through the end of September.