AMES — Many Iowa farmers have been dealing with excessive moisture this year along with harvest delays due to wet weather and, in many areas, flooding.
Iowa State University Extension field agronomist Paul Kassel, who covers ten counties in northwest Iowa, says corn will have to be dried to prevent it from spoiling while in storage and drying expenses will be way up this year. “The question is, what’s it going to cost to dry,” Kassel says. “It’s still in the upper 20s for grain moisture. You could spend, for 200 bushels of corn at commercial drying costs, you’re looking at $7 or $8 per point per acre to dry it. If you’ve gotta’ remove ten points, that’s the profit plus a little.”
For many growers, the harvest for corn and soybeans is at least two weeks late. Kassel says the majority of the corn that was planted in late spring through the first week of June is in great condition. “A lot of folks in this area did stick with their plans on planting corn,” Kassel says. “The grain price went up during that time frame and it does look good. It did develop well and it pollinated around the first of August which is obviously late but not real late. We’re optimistic on that crop it’s just, can we make any money on it will be the next question.”
Soybean growers had cooperative harvest weather in the past week or so, but about half the soybean crop still needs to be brought in. “The grain moisture on that has been around 12 or 13 and it took a while to get it down there,” Kassel says. “Now, with the recent rain and cool weather predicted, the real question is will that soybean crop get back down to 13% or less so we can store it safely.”
Kassel says producers are hoping for conditions to be like in 2009 when they had a lot of rain in October but then November brought good weather that allowed harvest to be completed in late November and early December.