Drought-hit Iowa sees hopeful corn harvests

Sep 22, 2023

Iowa's farmlands faced a daunting drought this year. Surprisingly, early harvest reports have been more optimistic than anticipated. Researchers from Iowa State University Extension have shared that many farmers are seeing average or even better corn yields. 

Virgil Schmitt, a field agronomist from southeast Iowa, shared farmers’ astonishment at the plentiful grain despite the odds. 

Modern corn hybrids are part of this success story. Their genetics have evolved to withstand drought, leading to good yields over recent years. A cooler-than-usual July further helped. 

The USDA's projection for Iowa's average corn yields aligns with last year's figures at 200 bushels per acre. For context, 2021 saw a record yield of 204 bushels. 

While these early reports are encouraging, the season is young with just 5% of corn harvested so far. Yield varies greatly across fields. 

In drier regions, like southern Iowa, the yield has been slightly lower, but central Iowa paints a rosier picture. However, moisture levels remain a concern, with only 21% of Iowa’s topsoil deemed adequate. 

Yet, there's hope. Nearly half of Iowa's corn crops have been rated as good or even excellent. This harvest season, despite its challenges, showcases the advances and resilience in agriculture. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection
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