Some Iowa farmers are finding a few problems with their corn crop because of the unusually cold and wet weather in October. Don Elsberned farms north of Postville in Allamakee County. He says corn mold is popping up in areas of the state that received the heaviest rain, including some of his fields.
“There’s a lot of visable signs of mold, but it seems most of the mold that we’re seeing is superficial at this point…it rubs off,” Elsberned said. “I did file a claim with a crop insurance adjuster. He came out and looked at it and found no issues with it.”
The corn mold becomes a much bigger problem when it produces toxins. Elsberned doesn’t expect that to be an issue with his crop. Despite the recent dry spell, Elsberned says harvest work is running slow. “The corn is wet, so it takes time to get it dry and into storage. So, I’m sure we’ll be running well past Thanksgiving this year,” Elsberned said.
This week, a federal crop summary found 83-percent of Iowa’s soybean crop was harvested, while nearly two-thirds of the corn crop remains in the fields. Johnson County farmer Ed Ulch talked about his progress as he hauled his final load of soybeans to Solon. “We have 90-percent of our corn left in the field,” Ulch said. “If the weather permits, we’ll keep right at it, but I’m afraid that we’re going to be finishing up some time after Thanksgiving.” Kevin Ross farms near Underwood in southwest Iowa.
“October was probably the most miserable month for harvesting that I’ve ever had to deal with,” Ross said. The U.S.D.A. this week lowered its forecast for Iowa’s corn and soybean harvests. However, Iowa’s yields are still expected to exceed the 2008 crop.