SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — As Siouxland farmers continue to deal with hot and dry conditions, many are also having to deal with little critters eating at their crops.
Grasshoppers are again picking away at many fields across Siouxland. It’s a problem farms are used to, just like dry conditions.
“You know grasshoppers are creating field edges like this, where you got a lot of leaf eating. But fortunately in most cases grasshopper damage is limited to field edges and we don’t see it go through the whole field,” said Joel DeJong, field agronomist at Iowa State University.
DeJong said grasshopper damage is at a minimum, at least for now. The drought, however, continues to dry up hopes for large yields in 2022.
Ric Hofmeyer, an Ag State Cooperative member, said he has talked with many farmers, all saying the same thing.
“This morning I had another customer that sat down and said to me. You know on a typical year, I can usually shoot for 70 bushel beans, but I’m even wondering if 60 bushels is gonna make the grade this year,” said Hofmeyer.
Some grain producers have battled drought conditions for more than two years now. DeJong said insurance will help cover losses, but that’s not the business plan they’ve hoped for.
“They’d much rather harvest their crop than take an insurance payment, but at least the insurance payment in many cases gives them the chance to at least get started again the next year and try again the next time around,” said DeJong.
Many farmers said they plan on harvesting earlier than usual, according to Hofmeyer.
“They are taking corn out of the field that is struggling on lighter ground and some instances I’m hearing it as bad as the cornfield isn’t even shooting an ear this year,” said Hofmeyer.
The drought also continues to hit cattle producers who are being forced to buy hay to feed their herd earlier than they typically do.