From the Rows - Jason Franck - Western Tour Day 3
Ahh yes! We finally made it to Iowa!! Since I am from IA, I was wanting to see if my home state could shine. Well, this may not be the year to see anything shine.
We traveled from Nebraska City up hwy 59 to finish at Spencer, IA. I was impressed with what I saw as I headed into IA. They were harvesting!! And it's the right thing to be doing in these areas. One curious observation was seeing how some of the fields were being harvested in patches. We did not speak to any farmers combining, but I suspect they harvested the areas that were the driest and were leaving the remaining acres to dry down some more.
As we moved on, we were amazed at the amount of stalk lodged corn we found and the extent of damage that was done. Stalk lodging, by definition, is the breakage of the stalk below the ear. Severely lodged corn leads to increased harvest losses, increased harvest time, increased drying cost, and may result in volunteer corn the following year. To me this is important, because the plants were being cannibalized and growers need to understand that in this environment, action needs to be taken.
Crop conditions and yields improved as we moved north. In the northern counties the corn crop still was showing signs of moisture stress, but some of the areas had received a little rain throughout the season to provide better looking plants.
Now, nothing seemed to change with how we are judging the soybeans this year. We started the tour with disappointing comments on soybeans and today didn't change that perception. The lack of big cluster numbers is keeping our counts low. Additionally, today we were seeing pods with one good, plump bean and two beans flat and out of time. I estimate 10% of the fields on the tour today were turning for maturity reasons and the remaining fields are quickly behind. This leaves little hope for Mother Nature to correct the challenges we are seeing. Maybe in a few weeks the combines will give us some answers.
Overall, western Iowa dances to the same tunes as the rest of this Pro Farmer Crop tour… broad variability!!