The heat is on across Iowa, and while days where the temperature tops the 90-degree mark won’t help some crops, it’s not a bad thing for all corn and soybeans. Iowa State University Agronomist, Paul Kassel of Spencer, calls the heat wave a double-edged sword.
“The good side is we have a fair number of farmers who have some acres of corn that were planted in June, and this will help that develop,” Kassel says. “They took a big risk in doing that, of having some really wet corn, grain at harvest. And this will help that. It may not solve the problem entirely, but it will help. That’s kind of the benefit there.”
Kassel says there were also many farmers who couldn’t get their soybeans in the ground right away due to the wet spring.
“There was just a lot of acres, Clay County, Palo Alto, Kossuth, Buena Vista, Pocahontas and then Hancock and Winnebago, so forth, that planted a lot of soybean in June. So, basically a month behind,” Kassel explains.
If the heat spurs the growth of those beans, it can help offset some of the impact of the late planting. “We already know we have a yield loss because of that planting date. A lot of those areas have had some recent rain, but then this hot weather that should really help that late-planted soybean crop mature and be lot more productive, so that’s what we’re hoping for there,” Kassel says.
In eastern Iowa it’s a different story. Dean Rebal, fears the parched soil and current heat are cutting corn and soybean yields on his one-thousand acres near Solon.
“We’re in a real critical stage right now. I’ve got a bad feeling that if we don’t get a rain here within a week that these beans won’t fill in the pods. And then when it comes to the corn and everything, I have a feeling that we’re just not going to have the kernel depth there. Test weight might be a little on the light side,” Rebal says.
Rebal is also finishing the sweet corn season –selling some 10-thousand dozen ears from his farmyard. He’s predicting the late summer heat will be disappointing those hoping to buy sweet corn after the Labor Day holiday.