Heavy rains not good for Tri-State farmers

The Tri-States has seen quite a bit of heavy rain this year, including this past weekend (June 12-13).

It's good for crops, but it's made the job of Tri-State farmers almost impossible.

KHQA's Jarod Wells headed to southeast Iowa Monday, June 14th where some farmers have given up on parts of their fields.

ISU Region 20 Extension Education Director Bob Dodds said, "Well the crops behind us, the first time, were planted probably around the middle of April."

That's when the Tri-States was having a great spring for planting.

Dodds said, "Then we got a lot of rain. Started around the 22nd of April and just continued to rain all the way up until about Memorial Day."

At that point, many farmers went in and replanted their fields, which is why you see smaller and larger corn plants in the same fields. The rain hasn't stopped, which has led to more uneven growth. Just across the road, another field is dealing with a different problem from heavy rains.

Dodds said, "He's got a good stand planted, but unfortunately, because of the wet conditions, he hasn't been able to come back and apply herbicide and control the weeds."

Which is leading to two things: competition between weeds and the corn, and seedling diseases. When you add all the problems together, the harvest outlook isn't great.

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Dodds said, "Normally, we'd like to shoot for 175-200 bushels for corn. This is some really good bottom ground here and so the yields should be really good, really tremendous in a normal year. This year, I think we're hoping for around 100-125 and that's probably being really optimistic."

Some farmers have given up on the fields that have not yet been planted, like a field which is right down the road from the other two fields that have been planted, but are struggling.

Dodds said, "I think a lot of farmers are looking at the date on the calendar and saying, I think we're not going to try to plant any more corn this year."

Dodds says there may be some more soybeans being planted, but for the most part he thinks farmers are done planting because of the wet fields. But before anybody makes that decision, he advises them to talk to their federal crop insurance agent.

Dodds said, "It's not near as good as growing a crop, that's what we'd like to do, but it's so important before they make these management decisions that they talk with their federal crop insurance person, so they're making good choices."

Iowa State University Extension Education Director Bob Dodds says controlling weeds is the most important thing to do to prepare for next year, even in the fields that were not touched this year.