While farmers in Missouri, Indiana and Illinois are wondering if some of their fields will ever get planted, much less harvested, in 2015, the situation in Iowa appears to be very different.
“If you live from Highway 30 north all the way up to the Minnesota border, crops (in Iowa) look excellent. They are absolutely excellent (and) starting to tassel,” said Sue Martin of Iowa-based Ag and Investment Services, speaking on U.S. Farm Report Saturday.“From Highway 30 south, the further south you go, it doesn’t look so good … but as a whole, I think the state of Iowa is a better state than last year.”
The numbers look good too. According to USDA’s most recent Crop Progress report, 82% of Iowa corn is in good to excellent condition, compared to 69% overall for the key corn-producing states.
“When I look at the corn (while driving along the road) it looks beautiful and tabletop flat,” Martin observed. “Guys who fly the air say something a little different—that you tend to see a lot of unevenness in a field. (But) in years when you have unevenness in the fields, you continue to get above trendline yields.”
In 2014, Iowa farmers produced 2.37 billion bu. of corn, with a yield of 178 bu. per acre. That's the third-highest yield on record, according to the USDA.
Listen to the U.S. Farm Report discussion:
Iowa growers have also sounded considerably more positive than their counterparts on AgWeb’s Crop Comments section.
“We’ve had a wet June here, but the past three weeks have been drier and the corn is really improving,” said a Guthrie County, Iowa, farmer on July 9. “Beans (are) not as good—the fields that are planted late look really poor—many wet spots didn’t get planted. We do have some nice-looking beans in the area. In our area, the best-looking beans have been the ones that were planted early and have very little residue. Hope everyone’s crop turns around like ours have. Don’t write it off too soon—it may fool you.”
Some aren’t so sure. “Yields here won't be much different than in 2012 with the exception that too much water did the damage this time instead of lack of water,” a farmer in southeast Iowa told AgWeb.
What are you seeing in Iowa fields? Do you agree or disagree with the USDA's crop conditions numbers? Leave a comment below or share your observations and photos with AgWeb’s Crop Comments.