Despite this month’s heavy and frequent rains, 75% of Iowa’s corn crop is in excellent or good condition according to Monday’s crop report from the USDA. Agronomist Lori Abendroth, with Iowa State University Extension, says most farmers are now hoping for a dry spell so they can focus on weed control. She says a lot of corn producers need to apply herbicide, but it’s simply too muddy to enter some fields.
The constant heavy rains have destroyed pockets of farm fields, but Abendroth doesn’t believe the damage will significantly affect Iowa’s overall yield. Many farmers are checking to see if the rain has saturated fields enough to overexpose a plant’s root system. “Sometimes if we see this type of rainfall early season and then get a dry period later on, the corn may become stressed just from not having a deep root system,” Abendroth explained.
Southeast Iowa has received the most precipitation this month with some locations reporting more than eight inches of rain. Abendroth says some fields have areas of stunted plants that won’t make it to harvest. “Those are small areas, so across the board, we’re still doing okay with the corn from the reports I’m hearing across the state,” Abendroth said.
The latest crop report rates 23% of Iowa’s corn as excellent, 52% good, 18% fair, 5% poor and 2% very poor. The report shows 94% of Iowa’s soybeans have emerged.