The latest U.S.D.A. crop report shows the harvest is 12 days ahead of last year for corn and 10 days ahead for soybeans, but one section of the state is lagging well behind those numbers. Iowa State University agronomist Aaron Saeugling monitors 12 southwest Iowa counties.
“In southwest Iowa it’s going to be a long fall,” Saeugling says. That’s because constant rains, some often several inches, delayed planting and kept some fields from being planted. That makes for a lot of different scenarios in the fields. “I’ve got producers who are wrapping up soybeans and I’ve got producers that haven’t started,” according to Saeugling.
It’s not all of southwest Iowa — not even all of some farms. “So for those guys it’s kind of bittersweet,” Saeugling says, “they’ve got fields that are yielding better than they ever dreamed of. They’ve got fields they won’t harvest.” Either way, the area is well behind the statewide average for corn of 29 percent harvested and 65 percent for soybeans.
“If I had to average — probably pushing really close to 50 percent on beans. Corn right now, maybe twenty percent,” Saeugling estimates. In contrast, in northwest Iowa where things were drier, an agronomist reports two-thirds of the corn and nearly all of the soybeans are already harvested.
Dean Borg of Iowa Public Radio contributed to this story.