We farm in northwest Iowa and what rain we have gotten this year has been very hit and miss with some fields dying out while other fields have had just enough rain to hang on. We were fortunate enough to get a good rain at the end of June but saw no rain in July and, like everywhere else, lots of heat all summer. Fields in the area are also starting to be cut for silage with some completely dried up, but other fields only have to lose the edges, high spots, sandy spots and other areas where the rain didn’t come or dried too fast.
The corn fields around here have all grown full height and put out ears, in most areas though there just wasn’t anything to fill the kernels out, and that’s where the fields have dried themselves out trying to fill out in this heat. The corn that has remained definitely has signs of stress, nearly every field has burned up at least a few leaves and some plants are putting out tassel ears just to grow something. The beans have been able to hang in there but they aren’t doing much either. There are more flowers now and some pods are in place with the recent rains, but are hardly filled with anything. The lack of rain all July has allowed spider mites to take hold and wipe out some fields a bit further south of us.
Everything in our area has depended on luck with our hit-and-miss showers. Some areas will be fortunate enough to have a harvest but across the fence there may be nothing. If we can keep our recent rains coming things may work out and hang in there, but everything that’s left is just barely hanging on.
-Submitted by Dan Gehlsen, a corn and soybean farmer in northwest Iowa.