The sunny, dry weather has been a welcomed sight as farmers continue with the harvest. However, according to the latest crop progress report, farmers are still lagging behind the average harvest pace. Corn is just 29 percent harvested which is four days behind normal, and soybeans are 37 percent harvested which is 12 days behind the five-year average. Paul Kassel is the Iowa State University Extension Crop Specialist for northwest Iowa. He says farmers in his region are finally nearing completion of the soybean harvest.
“Well there’s individuals that have completed their soybean harvest, and there are individuals that I’m going to say are three-fourths done. As you said, a lot of progress in the last seven, seven to eight days, and just really good weather. A lot of concerns from last week, or ten days ago about how to dry soybeans and all that kind of thing. Well those problems have gone away. Now we’re concerned about the soybean crop maybe getting a little to bit dry. But no, quite a change, and a very welcomed change also,” says Kassel.
Kassel says moisture levels on the harvested soybeans have dropped a few percentage points once the sun came out following the week of wet conditions. The crops specialist says soybean yields in his region have been good, but not as good as a couple of years ago. Kassel says the prolong wet conditions hurt some yields.
“Two years ago, we had just an excellent…excellent yield. A lot of people had (soybean yields) some upper 60’s and 70 bushel averages. We didn’t see that this year, but we have seen some excellent yields. I would say a fair amount of yields in the mid-60’s kind of thing. There was a problem. You know we had a lot of rain in June that really caused some problems…drowned out areas. You go east, there’s more fields that just flat drowned out, at least parts of them. That really hurt some people. The rainfall in late September that kind of reached the drowned out, re-planted areas as well,” says Kassel.
Kassel says there were times this summer when several acres within Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, and Palo Alto counties were under water, causing farmers the need to re-plant those acres. He says those acres have produced only average to somewhat below average soybean yields.