Iowa farmers are taking advantage of good weather by harvesting corn and soybeans and moving it to grain elevators or on-farm storage. The U.S.D.A.’s weekly crop progress report this afternoon is expected to show Iowa’s fall harvest well ahead of average for late September.
Brent Larson, who farms in the Fort Dodge area, says dry weather is speeding the harvest but it’s also contributing to grain losses.
Larson says there is some corn down because of strong winds, plus, there just hasn’t been enough moisture so some of the corn is so dry that it shatters when it hits the corn head of the combine.
Larson farms about 400 acres of corn and soybeans. He says the dry weather has allowed him to finish harvesting most of his crops already. “The corn’s nice and dry for the most part and so are the beans,” he says. “The yields have been all across the board. It really depends on soil type. The heavier soils are yielding well and almost up to a normal, average crop, and the lighter soils are really quite poor.”
Larson says it’s a concern for next year, too, because farmers may be planting in dry soil. There doesn’t seem to be any reserve moisture, Larson says, “and if we go into next spring like this, with no more extra moisture, it’s gonna be nip and tuck to get next year going well.”
Some weather analysts believe the long-running drought will finally break in October, while other forecasters fear it may last into spring.