The continued wet weather may prove to be problematic for farmers wanting to harvest their crops. Iowa State University Extension Grain Quality Specialist, Charlie Hurburgh believes the wet conditions add a new issue to the harvest.
“It’s just been a difficult fall — and now we are going to have mold problems in the fields for sure,” Hurburgh says. “And farmers need to scout their fields and look to see which fields seem to be more less affected by mold problems and harvest them first.” The wet conditions led to growth issues that are now showing up as farmers head to the fields.
He says there is a lot of corn that is down because the stalk health wasn’t great and he says the down corn is more likely to spoil in the field than the corn that is standing up. “All in all we will have a little bit of a problematic harvest.” The Iowa State grain quality specialist says the condition of this year’s grain is slightly below last year’s harvest.
“The kernel fill wasn’t just tremendous like it was last year. And the kernels weren’t as deep and they aren’t as big, which means our test weights will be okay, average, 54-55 pounds, but I don’t think anything exceptional,” according to Hurburgh. “From a livestock and ethanol perspective, that’s really not too serious.” Hurburgh adds that the quality of the grain may deteriorate if we continue to have cool wet days — as there really hasn’t been a lot of natural drying days.
“We only had maybe two days of really good drying weather right after the Labor Day deluge. There were two or three days where we got a lot of drying and then we went right back into the water again,” Hurburgh says. “The moisture reports have been all over the place.”
He says soybeans are seeing similar problems with high moisture levels. Hurburgh says for long-term storage of grain, corn moisture needs to be around 15% moisture, and for soybeans, the moisture content should be around 10 to 12%.
(By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)