MITCHELLVILLE, Iowa -- Farmers are behind schedule; four days behind on corn and an unprecedented 11 days behind schedule on soybeans.
“In fact it's the most behind that we've been since the records were started to be kept back in 1974” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig.
Naig says with a little help, they can turn that around.
“If we can string together some sunny days and some days that get closer to 60 degree temperatures folks will be able to get back in the field and we can move very quickly once we get in and get those conditions right” he said.
Michael Fritch farms near Mitchellville. He says he was starting to get stir crazy waiting for his fields to dry out enough to harvest.
“I've been farming for 15 years and I've never seen a year like this year” he said. “Fall's the time of year we're supposed to be working and you can only do so many jobs around the house and clean the house so many times”.
Fritch was finally able to start up his combine to harvest soybeans yesterday and now he and many other farmers are pulling long hours to catch up.
“Any time at harvest when the weather is good you gotta go and get 'em. I know I was able to run last night 'till about 9-9:30 p.m. 'till the beans started getting a little tough to cut because of the moisture coming back up; but anytime I can run, I'm running” said Fritch.
However, it's not just for the sake of finishing quickly.
“On the beans when they dry down like that and get moisture they swell; the beans will actually swell. So, the pods can only take so much of that and once they swell so many times they start cracking open. Once they hit the ground we can’t get 'em again” he said.
Fritch says so far, his soybean crop is about 2 percent damaged which is right around average for him. But, not everyone is that lucky. Fritch says some of his friends are harvesting 15 to 20 percent damaged beans and have already had to contact their crop insurance.