Muddy fields are slowing Iowa’s corn and soybean harvest. The U-S-D-A’s weekly crop update says 94-percent of the corn acreage is mature. That’s three days head of average for this date.
Corn harvest is a week behind average, with only 19-percent out of the field.
In Winnebago County, where rain during this crop year is nearly double the normal amount, rivers and drainage ditches are overflowing and not allowing field tile to drain cropland.
“Our drainage ditches are full up to the top, so our tile outlets are underwater,” says Wayne Johnson, who farms near Forest City. “So until those outlets start working better, our tile systems in the fields aren’t able to drain real well. That’s why it’s been so slow.”
Johnson estimates he’s leaving about 10-percent of his corn crop in the field, steering harvest machinery around the water and mud.
“You come up over a hill and there’s a bunch of standing water,” he says. “And you’ve never seen standing water there before. The tile has always worked, but this year it’s not a tile problem. It’s just a tile outlet issue.”
Johnson says the wet fields are not affecting grain quality.
Forty-three percent of Iowa’s soybean crop is harvested. That’s three days behind last year at this time.