Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says while there has been a lot of flooding in the state in recent weeks, there has not been widespread flood damage to crops.
“It’s so localized, it really depends on what your conditions are like. If you are right along a stream where these streams have come up, we’ve seen some real damage where corn is under water and beans have been pushed over,” Northey says.
And then there are farmers who don’t have many worries about the water. “If you are up the hill and the water is able to run off, in some cases those fields are starting to dry out a little bit…and it probably didn’t damage the crop much,” Northey says. “And then we have some parts of Iowa — southeast Iowa they missed the rain pretty much altogether and just kept on harvesting. And so it’s very localized, but there certainly are some places that are significantly impacted by too much rain.”
Northey says water impacts corn and beans differently. “If beans get water up into the plant, if it gets very far, it will knock them down and make it really hard to be able to harvest,” Northey says. “Corn can stand in standing water and you can get water up over the ear. When you do that you have a risk of mycotoxins, so there’s some procedures to check to see if you have mycotoxins. You certainly don’t want to harvest that and put that with good corn without knowing what you have.”
The wet weather had already raised some concerns about the mycotoxins or mold in corn before the flooding. “I think there was some rain that came in August that got in some of these ears and we’re hearing at least some pockets out there where there was some mold in this crop. This wet weather is not going to help that at all,” according to Northey. “It’s causing some folks to want to get that crop out pretty quick, because that mold will continue to grow in some of that corn.”
The crop report showed that 72 percent of the corn crop was mature or beyond, three days ahead of last year, and two days ahead of the five-year average. Corn condition rated 82 percent good to excellent. Ninety-three percent of soybeans were turning color or beyond, three days ahead of last year’s pace. Sixty-eight percent of soybeans were dropping leaves or beyond, three days ahead of average.
Soybean harvest has begun where field conditions were dry enough. Soybean condition rated 81 percent good to excellent.