Weather hinders Iowa harvest - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Weather hinders Iowa harvest

by Brady Smith

TIFFIN (KWWL) - Every day counts for Iowa farmers this time of year. Russ Meade spoke with us on Tuesday, and says the wet weather would cause problems for his family's farming operation if it stuck around much longer.

"Today I was getting caught up on bookwork."

That's about the only thing Meade and other farmers can do in such weather. "We're at the period where we need to take it out of the field no matter how wet it is, and get it done."

His combine was parked that day, because of a combination of soaked cornfields and above-freezing temperatures. "We can combine in weather like this if the ground's frozen, but when it's wet like this and 38 degrees, we're stuck."

He says heavy machinery can sink easily in muddy fields. Add to that the looming risk of snow, which can clog harvesting equipment, and it's easy to understand why Meade was eager to get to his remaining 80 acres. "It's a bad process if we still have quite a bit of corn out there, and we get snow on the ground. We need about four good days of sunshine to get everything done."

Until the weather changes, Meade says he'll do whatever else can be done out of the rain, and just wait it out like always.

"Farming is swings of ups and downs, so you have to roll with what nature gives you."

Despite the tough planting season with the summer flooding and the difficult harvest due to wet and cold weather, harvest yields are actually higher than last year. A recent report says 82 percent of the corn crop had been harvested as of the end of October, compared to last year's 62 percent.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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