Moderate drought impacts some Siouxland farmers

Local News

Stocks of corn might look good to the naked eye but A field agronomist said it's the dead leaves down below that mean this crop is stressed and won't produce as good of a yield.

(KCAU)– Driving around Siouxland, you can’t help but notice the green fields stretching for miles on the side of the road, but farmers say don’t be fooled, we need rain.

Stocks of corn might look good to the naked eye, but a field agronomist said it’s the dead leaves down below that mean this crop is stressed and won’t produce as good of a yield.

“With our subsoil profile being full this spring that definitely helped and with the high humidity the plants haven’t been able to perspire as much as normal that’s helped to retain some of the water too so we probably have taken some of the yields off but for the most part I would say we are looking pretty good,” said Ten Napel.

Chris Ten Napel farms in Ireton which is currently sitting at a moderate drought level. He said the humid weather has helped his crops grow despite the lack of rain.

“It’s up to mother nature we don’t have any way to set up for irrigation here, for the most part, every year we get an adequate amount of moisture so it’s not something that we can catch another rain when needed and that’s the best we can do,” said Ten Napel.

Just 20 miles away in Le Mars field agronomist Joel DeJong said the drought is beginning to impact a lot of farmers in the area.

“We’ve got a lot of fields that really haven’t had much rain and the daily demands are high so in the afternoons we are actually seeing a lot of fields with leaves that curl which tells me that they are not getting enough moisture we see soybean fields where the leaves are turning upside down another indication that they really aren’t getting as much moisture that they need and that, of course, is going to affect where our final yield level is going to be,” said DeJong.

DeJong said farmers just have to continue to hope mother nature will come through, otherwise, both the price of crops and the yield may be low for some Siouxland farmers.

“We have an area here that is under very significant drought stress so it is hurting our yield potential at the same time the corn and soybean states as a whole actually have pretty good growing conditions so you are going to be selling in a market where there seems to be an adequate supply which doesn’t give hope for a major upswing in prices,” said DeJong.

Beginning Thursday Iowa State University is doing online webinars on droughts for farmers and will continue each week with different drought topics. You can find information to sign up by clicking here.

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