Angie Rieck-Hinz, an agronomist with the Iowa State University Extension, monitors crop conditions in north-central Iowa where she says some of the corn is maturing ahead of schedule. “We’ve got a lot of corn that’s already at black layer, a lot of corn that’s not too far behind,” Rieck-Hinz says. “Obviously, the further north you go where planting was delayed, maturity is a little further behind but it’s right on schedule.”
While rain is one of the vital ingredients for crop development, too much rain can create a problem — or at least a delay. “We have a lot of folks who, if we hadn’t had all that rain last week and a few days prior to that, would be taking some corn out already this week,” she says. “There’s already some corn out in places in Iowa, both as silage and as grain.”
Even with the heavy rain showers in late August and early September, parts of southeast Iowa remain in drought. Much of northern and central Iowa got plenty of moisture — which brought flooding in many areas — so the current forecast of sunny skies is very favorable for farmers.
“This gorgeous weather this week is really going to help the dry-down on our crops,” Rieck-Hinz says. “What we really needed to do is dry up our soil so we can get out there with some big equipment and not make too much of a mess and cause compaction that will impact next year’s crops.” Weather conditions across much of Iowa should be rain-free for the next week or so.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)