"Average" Year for Lee County Corn?

Lee County, IA – Lee County farmers are hoping for an average corn crop, this summer, given the recent wet weather.

Iowa State University Extension Director Bob Dodds says Lee County averages about 35 inches of rain per year. He says the county received nearly 30 inches during the first six months of 2009.

Dodds says that kept farmers out of the fields and shortened the growing season. He says that will likely lead to lower yields and a harvest with higher moisture content.

Dodds says a higher moisture content means farmers will have to spend more money to dry the corn. He says it also leads to concerns over how long the grain can be stored.

Dodds says Lee County farmers need higher temperatures and no more than one inch of rain per week (in July) for average corn yields to be possible in October. He says harvesting could take place around October 20, nearly two weeks behind normal schedule.

Dodds says farmers were not able to plant corn in some fields due to the conditions. He says they have also been unable to properly add herbicides to their fields.

Other CropsDodds says the final soybean crops should be in the ground this week. He says soybean yields will also be impacted by the heavy rainfall this spring.

Dodds says long-growing days with high temperatures are needed to produce yields above 40 bushels/acre. He says wheat yields in Lee County would be considered average (60-70 bushels/acre).