LE MARS, Iowa (KCAU)– Between the insufficient rain Northwest Iowa received and two periods of scorching heat-waves a local farmer states that this growing season has been crazy.
“I started off the year planting, took awhile, we had a few rains early on which helped but also brought crusting to the soybeans. Then we rolled into June and we had a lot of heat during chemical applications which caused weed control issues to happen, and lack of rain continued through the summer. Now we’re having a lot of heat right now which put a lot of stress on the crop,” said Andy Schroeder, a Le Mars farmer.
While Siouxland has received more rain than last year, Iowa State University Agronomist Leah Ten Naple told me this year’s harvest could be similar to 2022.
“Before this stretch of weather, we had areas that were doing really well and were probably with corn gonna be over that 200 bushel. It’s gonna be a guessing game, but we could see some reduced yields because of this hot weather,” said Leah Ten Napel.
Local Le Mars farmer Andy Schroeder has grown corn, soybeans, and alfalfa for quite some time, he states that the heat has been harsh on his corn.
“So as you can see we have a lot of pollination issues aborted kernels on these two corn plants. These are from two different fields, couple miles apart, but the heat at the time of pollination caused problems that will have substantial yield loss,” said Schroeder.
Not only has the heat and small amounts of rain possibly jeopardized many crops growing to full term, but it also brought a plethora of weeds.
“Being so dry there in June we were spraying chemicals on corn and soybeans, we just didn’t have weeds that are actively growing that would up take the chemical well to make the chemicals work as well as we hoped. Because of that we had a lot of weed escapes and have them do a lot of resprays, and even now with the rains we had here in early August we’re getting new flush of weeds that are coming through the canopy,” said Schroeder.
The 2023 harvest season officially starts in October with farmers taking into consideration problems like Schroeder’s.
“I think we will probably see an earlier harvest this year, just like we have last year, I really think across the state that will probably be what happens. but they just kinda gotta let the plants grow and see what they can do towards the end of the growing season,” said Leah Ten Napel.
Last year farmers were paid $14.20 per bushel of soybeans and $6.50 for corn. However, with global events like the war in Ukraine and multiple countries’ grain deals coming to an end.
“I think definitely the world markets all changing every day, it’s got a lot of effect on crop prices. you know another thing with corn is hog markets are kinda struggling right now, so that might cause a shrink in the sow herd lowers on the demand for corn too,” said Schroeder.
According to the latest USDA crop report, roughly 90% of Iowa corn is progressing ahead of its average, but there’s still time for that to change.