The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

October 20, 2012

Early harvest nearly complete

Impact of summer drought results in inconsistent quality

OTTUMWA —  Whether you’re a farmer, grain dealer or crop specialist in southeast Iowa, 2012 has clearly been one of the worst years for crops.

Mark Carlton, a field agronomist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, said that 70-80 percent of the corn in southeast Iowa has been harvested and about 80 percent of the beans are complete.

“Farmers were combining corn early because the corn matured early,” Carlton said.

This year, the yields were reduced overall, according to Carlton. But, if the farmer had good soil, planted in a timely manner, and missed some of heat, then he had a chance at yields.

Carlton noted Davis County,  where some of the farmers got as little as 20 bushels of corn.

Moving north toward Monroe County, Carlton said the yields were in the 70-bushel range.

“But if you have good soil, the yields could increase to 160 bushels per acre or even to 200 bushels,” Carlton said.

The Monroe County yields weren’t good for beans and corn. There were some 50-bushel acres but the yields were less.

“In that area, the soils don’t hold water very well,” Carlton said.

Other places, such as Keokuk and Washington counties, had good yields, he added. Additional factors include how good the soils are and how well they hold water.

Carlton said he hopes southeast Iowa gets 3 or 4 inches of rain before the grass freezes up. Cattle owners told him more rain will be needed to fill up pond levels for animals.

“The Des Moines River is pretty low now, and we want it to be in good condition for spring,” he added.

Jerry Main of rural Jefferson County grows corn and beans, and he’s amazed at how the crop has varied in southeast Iowa.

“Because of a rain or two — like that one decent rain in August, the soybeans are better and were better than the corn,” he said. “It’s about half of what ‘normal’ would be.”

Growers these days expect to average 200 bushels of soybeans, with the corn averaging 100 bushels per acre, Main said. Some in Davis County had less than that.

Most farmers carry crop insurance and will make up for some of the loss.

“But, most insurance never replaces the crop, but it keeps growers from going broke,” he said. “And, it helps keep farmers at their places.”

Main moved to the northwest edge of Fairfield in 1966 and has farmed there for 46 years. He said 2012 is one of the driest years he has experienced. Also on the dry list are 1983 and 1988.

“Every year is different, but this is one of the extreme years,” he added.

Robin Franklin, manager of Wapello County Grain, said grain dealers have been affected like the farmers.

“For us, it’s often worse because we have no federal government programs,” he said. “The weather directly influences a grain dealer. If [the farmers] don’t raise crops, I can’t trade or sell it. And this has been one of the three worst years in 32 years.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • City Council approves sale of properties OTTUMWA — On Tuesday the Ottumwa City Council met for the last regularly scheduled meeting of April. Included in the agenda for the evening were several dispositions of city owned property. Structures and land located at 519 W. Fourth St., 723 E. Mar

    April 15, 2014

  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0416 OTT Ron Oswalt mug -T School board member resigns OTTUMWA — As this week's school board meeting came to a close, the president read a letter from one of the members. Board President Carol Mitchell read that fellow board member Ron Oswalt was announcing his resignation from the Ottumwa Board of Educa

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chronic wasting disease found in wild deer OTTUMWA — Since 2002, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has collected more than 50,000 samples of captive and wild deer in Iowa in an effort to look for cases of chronic wasting disease. On April 9, they confirmed an infected wild deer had bee

    April 15, 2014

  • Good Shepherd Food Pantry making a difference BLAKESBURG — Good Shepherd Food Pantry in Blakesburg began its third full year of operation this month. Start-up funds included the South Central United Methodist Conference grant of $1,200 and a large cash donation from Hope Well Church in response

    April 15, 2014

  • Council approves sale to Historical Preservation Society BLAKESBURG — Blakesburg City Council on Monday approved sale of the museum property to Blakesburg Historical Preservation Society. The $4,000 bid submitted by BHPS was the only bid received. Terms of the bid include a clause that if at sometime the p

    April 15, 2014

  • County signs law enforcement agreement with Eddyville OTTUMWA — A law enforcement service contract between Wapello County and the city of Eddyville received supervisors' approval on Tuesday. Beginning July 1, Eddyville will pay the Wapello County Sheriff’s office $3,833 per month or $45,996 for law enfo

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 OTT bbq photo, run small -T -M Where the smoke came wafting off the grill OTTUMWA — When the hobby they loved became a full-time job, Bubba-Q's owners had to put something they loved — barbecue competitions — on hold. "We haven't competed since 2011," said Sabrina Knapp, co-owner of Bubba-Q's restaurant in the Quincy Place

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Armstrong sentenced in toddler beating OTTUMWA — Dustin Armstrong will spend 50 years in prison for the beating of an Ottumwa toddler last year. The assault took place almost exactly a year ago, when Ottumwa police went to 117 E. Woodland Ave. on April 22 and found Brayden Young, then 2,

    April 14, 2014

  • 0415 OTT Burger King fire photo color -T -M -L Fire closes Burger King indefinitely OTTUMWA — Workers at the Burger King in Ottumwa weren’t treated to an easy beginning to their Monday morning. They had to contact the Ottumwa Fire Department because a fire broke loose in the kitchen, effectively closing down the restaurant for the r

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition