The governor and state emergency management director say the crop damage in the state from storms and flooding will likely be in the millions. Northwest Iowa has some of the worst hit fields, in a situation that Spencer-based Iowa State University Extension agronomist Paul Kassel says has dramatically changed. “We were a little bit dry late May first of June, so as someone said, the first two or three inches were welcome. The last fifteen have not been,” Kassel says.
The fields that soaked up the first rains, have now become overwhelmed with water. “Drainage systems have jut been kind of maxed-out,” Kassel says.”They can hardly walk in the fields because they’re just so waterlogged. It’s just that mushy out there.”
Kassel says thousands of corn and soybean acres are already wiped out, and its not over yet. “A lot of crop lost due to flooding and water standing — and now just kind of waterlogged soil is going to slowly add to that problem,” according to Kassel. Double-digit rains have left crops drowning in some of the state’s richest soil. “Probably the worst area is maybe southern Clay County, southern Palo Alto, probably parts of northern Pocahontas. So it’s really heavy, dark, productive soil and those drainage systems have just been kind of maxed-out,” Kassel says.
Kassel says wet fields are also preventing farmers from applying weed-preventing herbicides on corn that is surviving. The lastest U.S.D.A. crop report released Monday showed most of the state’s corn crop is doing well. The crop was rated one percent very poor, four percent poor, 16 percent fair, 58 percent good, and 21 percent excellent. Almost all of the soybeans have emerged and just one percent of them are rated very poor and five percent rated poor.