Harvest on Hold As Farmers Wait For Fields To Dry

BULTER COUNTY, Iowa-- Farmers in Northern Iowa are still waiting to find out what can be salvaged and what will be scrapped in their flooded fields.

"We're looking for a dry field to get in and can't find it," said Curt Sherman.

About nine inches of rain fell in Butler County late last week where he lives and farms. Some of his corn and soybean fields are nearly dry while others still have six inches of standing water.

Sherman calls the waiting game "nerve-wracking."

"We definitely do have some farms in Iowa that are seeing some complete losses in some of their fields," said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

Northey estimates the loss affects a few tens of thousands of acres and is only a fraction of the 23 million acres of the state's beans and corn. He says any loss with these low farm prices will come as a big blow to producers.

"With the prices we have now, you kind of need every bushel you can," said Northey.

"Oh I'm kind of in between," said Sherman.

He expects most, if not all of his crops, will be OK.

"You can't count the crop till it's in the bin," he added.

Northey says farmers will have to test their flooded crops for mold or disease. Most crop insurance covers about 80 percent of their loss.