WIUM Tristates Public Radio

SE Iowa Corn Crop in Jeopardy

Lee County, IA – Bob Dodds with Iowa State University Extension is concerned about this year's corn crop in southeast Iowa.

He says farmers usually see yields of 175-200 bushels/acre, if not more.

Some of the local fields Dodds has visited are showing the potential for just 125 bushels/acre, a decrease of roughly 1/3.

Dodds says the abnormally hot weather in July and August has taken a toll. He says corn does not do well in temperatures above 90 degrees with high humidity.

Dodds says the damage was also done in early May and June when there was too much rain. He says nitrates were washed away and the stalks did not grow deep enough because there was so much water towards the surface.

The current corn fields are also in jeopardy during heavy rain due to the lack of a developed root system.

Dodds expects to see farmers getting in the fields to harvest several weeks earlier, perhaps in mid-September.

He says the best thing farmers can do is prepare their equipment for harvest.

Dodds says that must include fire extinguishers, due to the dry nature of the fields.

You can hear more with Bob Dodds with Iowa State Extension by clicking the audio link above.