The Ottumwa Courier


November 12, 2009

Area farmers making up for lost time

OTTUMWA — Area farmers are trying to make up for lost time after a wet season and a delayed harvest.

“A lot of farmers are actually finishing up on the soybeans now and have moved to corn, and there’s a lot of corn left to harvest,” said Iowa State University Extension field agronomist Jim Fawcett.

Wapello County farmer Harold Moses still has 3-4 weeks until he’ll be done harvesting. In an ideal year, Moses said he would be 1-2 weeks from a finished harvest.

“It’ll be a few weeks yet; I would guess it kind of depends on the weather,” he said. “If we get back into a wet spell like we did in October, then it’s going to be awhile.”

Moses has started harvesting soybeans but said his corn still needs some time to dry out. While the corn is never going to completely dry in time, most farmers will have to use some kind of drying method, he said.

“A lot of this corn is still pretty wet until it dries down; it’s kind of hard to go very fast,” Moses said.

However, Fawcett said the recent warm, dry weather has helped to dry some corn, and that will save farmers a little money and time.

“We’re still very far behind normal, and corn is wetter than normal but it has at least improved over the last week or so,” Fawcett said.

Because of the wet season, Fawcett said, another concern is ear rot and other molds showing up in corn.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever had a year quite like this one. This has just been wet all year except for three weeks in September,” Moses said.

“It would be great if it was between 70-80 degrees. This week does look good, but I think it’s supposed to cool down to more normal temperatures next week,” he said. “Right now, we just need dry weather, even if it cools down.”

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