Lots of Rain in the Forecast Creates More Delays for Iowa Farmers

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RADCLIFFE, Iowa -- Rain in the weather forecast is going to delay farmers from getting out in the field this week, and farmers say this is a major week for harvesting, especially for soybeans.

Corn and Soybean farmer Dennis Friest said they have had a really tough year and the additional rain and moisture is going to delay harvest even more.

“We tried to get started on our soybeans yesterday. They were about a point or two too wet to really harvest. So we stopped. We need some dry weather and not very much rain. So if we can keep it down to less than a half an inch of rain, we could be in the field in about three days probably. But heavy rains could really be a problem and if it keeps raining into the weekend like they're saying, it's going to just keep us from getting a harvest done,” Friest said.

He said this is the time soybeans are maturing and just about ready to be harvested.

“They are light sensitive. They mature this part of the year every year, they're ready to go. We like the harvest them when it's good and dry out there. And the longer they sit, the more chances there are to lose some of the beans,” Friest said.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said progress on this year’s crop has been very slow since the spring.

“We’ve really been two to three weeks behind average and unfortunately that has just continued throughout the growing season. And so now the harvest is upon us, we still find ourselves really trending behind in terms of crop maturity,” Naig said.

Naig said the USDA crop report that came out Monday gave him a pretty good idea of how farmers are doing statewide at this point.

“We've only got 2% of our corn harvested, which is 11 days behind average and 3% of our soybeans harvested which is eight days behind average,” Naig said.

Friest said there’s not a lot that farmers can do, except be patient.

“Farmers last year put bigger tires on their tractors, tracks on their tractors and combines to get through the field better, but there’s only so many things we're in control of. It’s Mother Nature and how much rainfall we get that’s really going to determine when we get out to the field,” Friest said.

Friest said the weather isn't the only battle they are facing. He said trade agreement issues and tariffs have also been difficult to deal with.

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