The drought is an equal opportunity destroyer of crops and not even land owned by U.S. senators is immune. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and one of his sons farm several hundred acres in northeast Iowa, near New Hartford. Grassley says the weeks of hot, dry weather are withering their corn and soybean plants.
“We’ve been hurt very much,” Grassley says. “If we got rain today, we would have a reasonably good bean crop but I think our corn crop will even be shorter than it was in ’88,” the last year Iowa had a severe drought. The 78-year-old Republican says they’ve increased production per acre significantly since 1988, but proportionately, he expects this year’s harvest will likely produce lower yields.
“Even on good ground in our neighborhood, by ‘good ground,’ I mean the really black Grundy County soil, you can see a certain amount of browning of stalks, some completely,” Grassley says. “On our sandy soil, that’s the rule rather than the exception.”
He says his crops are about 65% corn and 35% soybeans. Grassley says, “I have not gone out into the fields but I have a high spot that I have a chance to look across the fields and you can see a lot of completely brown areas.”
Grassley owns 750 acres of land in Grundy County which he shares with his son, Robin, who also farms his own land and some that he rents.