Yields Hit or Miss in Eastern Iowa

October 23, 2013 05:26 AM
Yields Hit or Miss in Eastern Iowa

A wet spring followed by a dry summer in Iowa has caused some surprising results on the yield monitors.

Interstate 80 is south than where those drowning rains caused fields to remain unplanted all year long, but for farmers along the interstate, it hasn’t been a smooth ride. As farmers are rolling full force in the fields, it is showing up in their yield monitors.

"As you can see, we have some shorter corn out here," says Michael Charbon, who farms just outside of Iowa City, Iowa. "There's spots in the field where there is nothing."

He says a year that started out extremely wet turned into the opposite around mid-summer.

"It's been hit or miss on the corn yields, but I was pleasantly surprised," he says. "We've had a couple fields below average and a couple fields above average, surprisingly."

Watch the full "AgDay" report:

(Related: Watch more of the I-80 Harvest Tour.)

Charbon says surprising, but still not perfect. A storm came through with damaging winds, knocking over fragile corn in three of his fields. The aftermath is a 100-bu. yield swing within the same field, and the moisture was just as bad-- ranging anywhere from 14% to 28% during harvest.

Soybean yields are hit and miss, too. He says on his lighter soils, it's showing up in the form of aborted pods.

"It’s just to be expected when you don’t get rain on sand," he says.

In other fields, however, yields are ticking higher.

"In other spots, where there was some soil moisture, we've seen bean yields into the 70s (bushels per acre) in spots in fields," he says. "But moisture has been coming in around average."

"AgDay" talked to farmers north in Iowa City who did get those monsoon rains all spring long. Yields there are also surprising. In the lighter soils, yields are poor, which was expected, but in the heavier ground, yields are turning out to be average or above.

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