Wet spring, hot summer affecting crops - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wet spring, hot summer affecting crops

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A wet spring and a dry summer have caused plenty of problems for Iowa farmers.

So as harvest draws near, how do the crops look?

"We're about two and a half to three weeks behind normal," said Terry Basol, a field agronomist for the Iowa State Extension office.

He said the recent heat wave has been a mixed blessing, "…a double edged sword, so to speak."

Scott Beenken has been farming in the Cedar Valley for years. He felt similarly about the weather.

"Actually, the heat was a blessing in disguise because it did push the crop further into maturity," he said. "But now we're showing signs of stress."

Both said that the corn crop is in the ‘dent' stage, where the kernel is filling out. That means any rain at this point will help add weight to the yield.

"If we can get the crop to mature we'd have some really good potential in the fields," Basol said.

But if the rain doesn't arrive, some of the corn harvested will be stunted and smaller.

Then, it will take more kernels to make a bushel, and more bushels to fatten livestock and make ethanol. That means consumers could feel the pain at the store and at the pump.

But Beenken is optimistic.

"That's farming in a nutshell," he said. "We roll with mother nature and she gives us what she gives us."

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