Harvest has arrived

Area corn, soybean farmers talk yields

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Scott Giannetto captured this image of harvesting efforts in Marshall County.

The crop growing season is coming to a close for many Central Iowa farmers, and drivers on the roads have begun to see combines at work in the fields: it’s harvest time.

Weather patterns in the growing season and now in the harvest season have caused different fields to have different crop yields so far this season.

“In my area, the yields are very variable,” said Iowa Corn Growers Association District 5 Director Denny Friest. “I’ve heard yields from 120 to 200 bushels an acre.”

The Radcliffe corn farmer’s district includes Marshall, Hardin, Story and Grundy counties, among others.

Friest said he’s noticed that a lot of corn has gone out west of him, while to his east there’s been an early start on soybeans.

“We’re kind of just getting a good start, like most people,” said Baxter farmer Brock Hansen of this year’s soybean harvest. “I wasn’t a fan of the soybean crop all year long because of the lack of moisture, it just looked like we were behind all year long.”

However, he said it’s been a positive start to the soybean harvest.

“Actually getting out in the beans, so far we’re pleasantly surprised with the yields,” Hansen said. “You’re finding some fields that will average like last year.”

Overall, however, Hansen said many farmers in the state won’t see as much consistency in yields as they did last year.

“Everything produced last year … everything had great yields,” Hansen said. “I’d say we’re going to be a little below last year’s average.”

Friest said this year’s yields will also be lower for corn.

“Our yields are going to be lower than last year, the averages; it’s variable across the area,” he said, adding rainfall was “very sporadic” during the growing season.

Showers swept through much of Central Iowa earlier this week, and the harvest was slowed down for some farmers as a result.

“It slowed us down this week,” Friest said of the rain.

In the Baxter area, Hansen said the rain didn’t cause as much of a problem.

“We only caught a half-an-inch out of that, so we only lost a half a day,” he said.

According to the Sept. 24 U.S. Corn Update from the National Corn Growers Association, Iowa was at 52 percent “corn mature” and 59 percent “corn condition good/excellent.”

Friest said he’s happy modern crop genetics can survive dry conditions, saying older crops would not have grown well in this year’s weather. He also said low crop prices may be bothersome.

“It’s frustrating to have low yields and low prices at the same time,” Friest said. “We’ve got a lot of crop for as little rain as we did have, that’s for sure.”


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com