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Iowa State Extension Holding Drought Meetings in Southeast Iowa

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BLOOMFIELD, Iowa  --  Most of Iowa has been facing seemingly endless heat this summer, and in some southeast Iowa counties the rainfall has been woefully short.

At the Davis County Fairgrounds, Iowa State University Extension held a meeting to advise farmers on how to deal with corn, which was not been producing much of a crop.

Many farmers hope to be able to cut the corn to feed directly, or as ensilage, putting the green corn in a bag to feed later.

The issue is the level of nitrate, which is too high and will keep the corn from being useful as a feed source.

“We’ve been awful short on rain here. Since the first of May we’ve had about 3.5 to 3.6 inches,” said Mike Hootman, who farms near Bloomfield. Hootman feeds cattle on his farm, and has been feeding hay this summer, due to the lack of grass in the pasture.

“Back in ’83 it was probably worse than it is now,” said Hootman. “We had corn 5-10 bushel to the acre.”

Hootman said he will run the corn he doesn’t chop through a combine to save whatever crop is there.

"No rain, basically, a very small amount,” said David Boas of Bloomfield. “I’m 37, have been around since I can walk, we’ve had worse corn, but the plant health was always better, taller where you get more tonnage for feed.”

If you would like more information on dealing with the drought click here.