The U.S.D.A. crop report showed just one day suitable for fieldwork last week and corn progress is 10 days behind and soybeans are two weeks behind last year.
Iowa corn growers now have 76% of the expected crop planted, with is two weeks behind the five-year average. This is the smallest amount of corn planted by May 26 since 1995 when 75% of the expected crop had been planted. Forty-two percent of the crop has emerged — nine days behind last year and 10 days behind average. Less than one-third of the expected soybean crop has been planted. This is the smallest percent of soybeans planted by May 26 since 1993 when just 23% of the expected crop had been planted. Eight percent of the crop has emerged, 12 days behind last year and 8 days behind average.
Farmers had one sunny day this weekend, but say it was not enough to make a difference. Seventy-year-old Denny Sejkora, told KCRG TV he’s been farming almost all of his life and has never experienced a season as bad as this one because of how wet it has been. Sejkora does still remain optimistic.
“We’ll get it done eventually,” he says. In addition to the wet weather, he’s been dealing with fields near Marion that just won’t dry up. Sejkora only recently got the last of his corn in the ground for this year. “Starts and fits would characterize the way we’ve worked in the field,” he says. “We’d get a bunch done, and then we’d take a break for the rain, let it dry out a little bit.”
But he can’t say the same about his soybeans. The weather has only allowed him to plant about a quarter of his crop so far — about what others across the state have averaged. Normally, about half the state’s soybeans would be in the ground by now. Sejkora say he’s usually well ahead of that by Memorial Day Weekend. He now hopes to have his full soybean crop planted by the Fourth of July, weather permitting. But the rain-related issues don’t stop there for him. Sejkora also makes hay for local farms, but he doesn’t start that until all his crops are planted, and once again, the weather is not working in his favor.
“It’s growing too fast, so it needs to be made because if it’s over-mature, it loses its feed value,” he said. “But you’ve gotta make hay when the sun shines,” Sejkora says. Sejkora says a day or two of dry weather won’t be enough to take care of his fields, but he is confident they’ll dry up eventually.
“There’s hope,” he says, “we’ve just got to find the window and be ready when the opportunity arises.”
The recent flooding in the Quad Cities has brought its own bad luck to the Marion farmer. He says his April beans haven’t moved yet because the river was too high at the terminal in Davenport. He also hauls grain for other farmers and says the wet weather has made it tough getting around on county roads.