A crop specialist with Iowa State University Extension says some late-season diseases are showing up in northwest Iowa fields. Joel DeJong says some hybrids aren’t tolerating “Northern Corn Leaf Blight” very well. “We’ve kind of seen an explosion of that disease in some fields,” DeJong says. “And all of a sudden we’ve got a lot of brown leaves and we’re starting to see some, maybe, premature death in some of those fields which is going to hurt yields somewhat.”
Some corn stalks are rotting in the field, too, because of soggy conditions. “I think our environment for this whole season leads us to have more stalk rot,” DeJong says, “so we’re going to be a little concerned about standability at harvest time.” Combines only harvest corn from upright stalks, so if the corn stalk falls over, farmers lose those ears of corn.
This year’s Iowa corn crop hasn’t reached maturity yet and the harvest in northern Iowa won’t begin until the end of this month. “We’re hoping for more sunshine now and also some more sunshine and maybe warmer than normal days as we get into October so we can dry that crop and don’t have to spend so much money,” DeJong says. Propane prices have been steady for several weeks, but farmers have been urged to buy propane in advance to run the dryers on their corn bins.
DeJong has inspected soybean fields, too, and his analysis indicates there are enough pods on the plants, but the question is how big the beans are inside those pods.
(Reporting by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)