To Rain or Not to Rain?

July 12, 2010 12:08 PM
 
The stress of unpredictable summer weather is continuing to keep farmers on their toes. Farmer reports to Crop Comments within the last month have shown that, no matter the part of the country you are in, you are battling the weather.
 
Many farmers in the Midwest continue to struggle with what seems like an endless stream of rainfall. While some areas have in fact started to dry out, many fields still sit under water across the “Heart of the Corn Belt.”
 
“We are starting to lose yield due to excessive rain. We are still far better off than many. Just returned from south of I-80 east of Des Moines and you folks have my sincere sympathy," says a Mitchell County, Iowa farmer.

In Lee County, Iowa, a farmer says, “Come see the worst crops in the nation. The flood of '93 is back. Bean planting won't take place in this area of the state. Corn is head high to 2" tall in the same field.”
 
Areas in Missouri and Nebraska have seen over 20” of rain in the last month. A farmer from Harrison County, Mo. reports a 400-acre loss from excessive rainfall, with spot losses in many other fields. “The Missouri River is bank full and backing into fields. Nebraska bottomland along creeks and rivers have big losses. The big question will be how much it will affect total production. Don't bet on record yields.”
 
An Iroquois County, Ill. farmer agrees that this is the toughest summer he has ever seen. “I have been farming for 30 years and have never seen so much damage from the water as we have had. They can say what they want, but some of this corn is not going to recover.”
 
And then the irony sets in. Farmers all along the East Coast are begging for moisture, seeing some of the driest weeks on record.
 
“For the last 45 days had 1.2" of rain, and the most came at 2/10" in about 30 minutes. 110-day corn planted on April 5 is burnt up two-thirds of the plant and 119-day corn is about 5' tall, starting to tassel,” says a southeastern Virginia farmer.
 
Many farmers in this area describe their corn crop as dry and curled, suffering from mere inches of rain through all of June.
 
“If it doesn't rain soon, well... we won't need the chopper to come around to process our corn silage for our dairy cows, there won't be a kernel to process, and not much stalk to chop either,” says a central Pennsylvania farmer.
 
“Send us your excess moisture boys. We are burning up!” says a farmer from Carroll County, Maryland.


For More Information
AgWeb Crop Comments
 

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