Iowa farmers stay hopeful after flooded fields delay planting

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The historic flooding that hit the Midwest last March affected many farmer’s fields across Iowa. The excessive amount of rain caused many farmers to wait until planting conditions were right for their fields.

“This whole Little River Valley in here was underwater,” said Kevin Goeken, a farmer in Everly Iowa.

“Around the county, you know you will find fields like this. I’ve got one of my own that just couldn’t get planted,” said a farmer from Peterson, Iowa, Chuck White.

When the rain fell and the rivers swelled beyond their banks in March, Siouxland farmers like Goeken and White knew they had a problem on their hands.

“This year’s planting season was the worst I’ve ever experienced and I’ve been actually farming on my own operations for over twenty years,” said White.

Flooded fields would mean pushing back planting dates and, in some cases, extending the planting season.

“We planted for two months, and normally if we plant for a month that’s a pretty long planting for us, so really it just prolonged everything and the struggle of the rain just really slowed us up and prevented us from doing other things,” said Goeken.

“We just felt that if we get out there too early to mud it in, then the corn roots won’t develop right so we waited as long as we could,” said White.

At the mercy of mother nature, all Goeken, White, and other farmers could do was wait it out and plant when the conditions were right.

“Some guys that were really behind, I mean, they were planting for 24 hours straight and just getting things done and that’s just not normal. It’s just what we have to do,” said Goeken.

But, in some cases, one round of planting wasn’t enough.

“Those areas that were excessively wet and got drowned out we had to go back in and we did stand counts and you can tell from your stand counts of how many plants there are there if you need to go back in and replant and it’s not hard to find when they’re all drowned out,” said White.

“It’s frustrating when you have to do it, but it’s just, I don’t know, just something you gotta do if you’re farming there’s always those challenges,” said Goeken.

With all the rain and all the flooding that caused all the problems, both Goeken and White remain optimistic.

“At least looking at our crops I think they’re actually further behind than last year but I think they have potential to be better than last year but we had one of our poorer yields around here last year,” said Goeken.

“Every season you make your plans and you really look at your plans to get the maximum yield. And you’re looking at planting days and as soon as field conditions are fit, we’re gonna be ready to go and you are just optimists. Farmers are eternal optimists,” said White.

Many of the area farmers are hoping for a later harvest so that they are able to get the most yield from their fields.

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