The extreme heat of July is starting to stress some of Iowa’s corn and soybean crops, as conditions vary across the state.

Iowa State University Extension field agronomist Angie Rieck-Hinz says much of the corn crop in western Iowa is having a difficult time. “Even the rain we get now is probably not going to help that a whole lot, just because it’s been so dry there for so long,” Rieck-Hinz says. “The rest of Iowa, like northeast Iowa, is fairly wet. I don’t anticipate seeing any yield loss potential on that, simply from the standpoint that they’ve had adequate rain.”

The condition of Iowa’s soybean fields is wide-ranging as well.”South-central Iowa, west-central Iowa, southwestern Iowa, those beans look stressed,” she says. “You get anywhere else in north-central Iowa and going into northeast Iowa, the beans look really good. Almost to R-3 in almost all of the bean fields, which means we’re at beginning pods.”

This past weekend brought Iowa some of the most oppressive heat of the year, with heat indices statewide in triple digits, so soybeans are becoming more and more stressed.

“We’re really pushing that crop this year with this heat,” Rieck-Hinz says. “I think the big challenge we’re going to look at going forward in time with beans is, we’ll see whether we get a pest outbreak or not.” Rieck-Hinz is based at the Wright County Extension Office in Clarion.

(By Brian Fancher, KLMJ, Hampton)