Ideal weather conditions have allowed farmers to continue harvesting corn at a faster than normal pace. In northwest Iowa, extension crop specialist Joel DeJong says many farmers appear to be ahead of the statewide average.
“A lot of producers I’ve talked to say they have a day or two left. I’ve talked to some who say they maybe have a week left, but we’ve made great progress and a lot of those corn fields have disappeared in the last week very nicely,” according to DeJong. DeJong says the recent warm, dry and windy days have helped reduce corn moisture levels so many farmers have not needed to artificially dry their corn. He says farmers are doing a lot less artificial drying than what was originally thought. “I hear reports of farmers taking corn out of the field at 14 percent (moisture), which is a percent lower than they would like to. A lot of 14 to 17’s,” DeJong says.
He says the timing of the dry weather helped dry down all the corn. “So even the later maturing corn has dried down really nicely with these conditions and has created a really fast harvest, because you don’t have to stop and wait and dry and wait for capacity,” DeJong says. He says the last six weeks have been very good in allowing the corn to dry down so it can be harvest.
The yield reports have been good too, with most at or above 200 bushels an acre for the corn. Growers in Plymouth County could see a record yield.”It’s always hard just in conversation to find out what the real number is. But you’ve got to remember — we’ve never really had a year in Plymouth County where the average corn yield according to the U.S.D.A. has been over 200 bushels. So, lets get to 200 bushels and find out where we are from there,” DeJong says. The ISU crops specialist says some farmers have noticed stock rot due to the excessive rains from July, August and September, and have managed the harvest accordingly.
He says he’s seen some fields with a lot of ear loss from heavy winds a few weeks ago and a lot of broken corn stalks. “So there are some issues out there, but yet in most cases — even though the stalks are bent over and kinked over — you might have to go a little slower, but it looks like we are getting most of those ears into the combine,” DeJong explains.
DeJong says soil temperatures are still too warm for farmers to apply any anhydrous ammonia fertilizer, and he is also concerned about the liquid manure that is being applied on some harvested fields.
(Reporting by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)