CROP REPORT: Drought Taking Its Toll

With little or no rain again this past week, Iowa’s corn and bean crop are deteriorating.

Currently, only 35% of the corn crop and 33% of soybeans are considered in good or excellent condition.

That’s down significantly from one month ago when more than 50% of both were in good or excellent condition.

When Mark Kenney looks at his Nevada corn field, he sees the potential for an average year.

His expectations are dropping a little after several weeks of extreme heat and no rain.

He’s lucky he got this crop got in the ground early and didn’t have to replant.

“We’ve got some pretty good corn here. I’m not too concerned about the yield here,” said Kenney.

Less than three feet away is a different crop and a different story.

Mark wasn’t able to plant his 60 acres of soybeans until June due to flooding.

His field may look ok, but he isn’t paid for the color of his soybeans.

“What you see is a green looking field without a whole lot of visual stress,” Kenney told Channel 13 News.

Mark is paid on yield, and during an average year, he could expect one plant to hold 60-70 pods.

With less than three inches of rain since June, his plants will fall well short of that.

“I don’t know how many good pods we have on here. 10, maybe,” Kenney told Channel 13 News.

Those beans are far from maturity for September 9th.

“These are green little lima beans,” said Kenney.

A good rain this week isn’t going to add any pods to his plants, but would help the beans he does have fill out.

Mark is optimistic he can salvage some yield out of this crop, but according to Ed Kordic with Iowa Farm Bureau, that depends on getting the crop harvested before the cold arrives.

“It’s just a concern of how late it will be. We need to delay the frost date as long as we can so we can get this crop out of the ground,” Kordic told Channel 13 News.

Mother Nature dictates when that crop is ready to harvest.

Not the farmer, and not the analyst.

 

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