Iowa farmers have had to deal with a wide variety of weather conditions the last few weeks as they’ve tried to start planting season. Floyd County Extension crop specialist George Cummins says it’s all within the parameters of a normal spring in Iowa. Cummins says rainfall’s been spotty, high winds have caused soil erosion, and there’s been frost here and there. Cummins says there’s no telling which conditions may have a destructive effect on one farm or field and spare crops nearby.He says you can have one corn plant hit by frost that leave its leaves brown and levels the plant to the ground, and six inches away there’s a green, healthy plant. Hail fell in parts of Iowa last night, in the Corning, Baxter and Winterset areas. Three-inch-sized hail struck around the Charles City area on May 8th. Cummins says it caused losses for several farmers in the Charles City area, though most field-crops escaped damage. He says some of the best soils have been removed and won’t be returned, and wind’s caused cases of erosion that damaged plants, stripping leaves and stressing the plant so they’re more likely to catch crop diseases. When the hail fell back on May 8th, corn and soybeans weren’t up yet, though fields of alfalfa were up, and were damaged. Frost the last weekend of April nipped some early-emerged corn and soybeans, but another round of sub-freezing temps this past weekend didn’t do much damage. Some areas have too much soil moisture right now, but Cummins says others could use more rain.
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