Some much needed rain has fallen across the state in the past 24 hours with some locations reporting one inch or more of precipitation.

John Holmes, an Iowa State University Extension Crop Specialist based in Clarion, says unfortunately the rain won’t improve corn and soybean yields. “But, it certainly helped as far as subsoil moisture reserves, kind of knock down the dust and dry weather and maybe reduced our fire risk a little bit,” Holmes says.

The corn harvest is already underway in Iowa, about three weeks earlier than usual, following the worst drought in decades. Holmes says he’s a bit surprised with the widely varying yields. “More than that, the low moistures in the corn…it’s not uncommon to hear somebody taking out corn at 15%,” Holmes said.

Most elevators and ethanol plants want corn moisture around 15%. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported 10% of Iowa’s corn harvest was completed as farmers work to salvage dry stalks before they topple. The U.S.D.A. has forecast Iowa’s corn harvest at 144 bushels an acre.

Over the last three years, Iowa has averaged 172 bushels per acre for corn.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City