Planting season starts a week behind for Iowa farmers
Written by Lauren DeWitt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -
As spring weather makes its way across eastern Iowa, many farmers have begun the process of planting their crops. The process is about a week behind this year due to a wet spring. The optimum time for planting for Iowa farmers is near the end of April or in early May. William Brown runs Brown Brothers Farm with his brother. Brown plants corn, beans and alfalfa. He began planting crops the first day of May this year
"We started May 1st and ran that afternoon for a little while, trying to get all the bugs out of everything. Then we got rain and cold weather, so we stayed out of the fields till earlier this week." Brown said.
Brown plants a majority of corn on his property that is distributed for a variety of uses; including ethanol and as a corn sweetener. After the late start to the planting season, Brown is just not sure how that corn is going to turn out.
"You know the 10th of may they always say that yield reductions start at about that point...but as cold as the ground is we are not sure what the corn that we have planted is doing, whether that is going to be coming out of the ground for a while anyway." Brown said.
He says if the weather continues to warm up the crops will be able to make up that lost time.
"If it warms up into the 80's like they are talking about maybe this coming week. Once we get that plant in the ground, or the seed in the ground and warm temperatures and the ground is moist we can see it making up lost time real quick. It may come out of the ground in 4-5 days and we will get right on line again." Brown said.
Mike Turnis is with the Dubuque Farm Bureau, he says it could still be a good growing season, that is, if the weather cooperates.
"It is supposed to be a record crop of corn planted this year, as there was last year. It got planted but it got to dry, the product materialized. This year, if we do get a big crop in I'm sure prices will probably drop if there is an abundance of grain." Turnis said.
"It all depends on what the rest of the weather is like for the rest of the summer. How much moisture we get and there are a lot of variables involved there. If it is dry like it was last year, then I'm not sure what is going to happen." Turnis said.
Last year, the weather permitted an early planting season. Turnis says by this time last year, people were out spraying herbicides on their crops and crops were appearing above ground. However, the summer brought little rain. .
"After last summer, we have a really hard time complaining about rain. So we really don't mind if we can get back in this coming week I think we will all be in good shape." Brown said.
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