Dry crops lead to issues during harvest

CLARION — The dry weather has created some yield loss in soybean and cornfields in north-central Iowa. ISU Extension Field Agronomist Angie Rieck-Hinz  says some soybean pods were shattering in the fields before a combine would enter, or the pods shattered as the cutter bar of the combine hit them.

The beans that fall out of the shattered pods can’t be harvested. “A lot of fields that are green with beans seed that fell on the ground and as germinated and some cornfields too and not a lot we can do when that crop dries down too fast,” she says. Rieck-Hines says the crops turned so quickly that it made it tough to respond.

“They kind of went from wet to dry like literally overnight,” she says. “Most people will tell you we went from green stems which was hard to combine, to dry pods and beans, and that made for some harvest losses.” She says many producers are making bales out of corn and soybean stover, but that can lead to a loss of important materials in the process.

“Give some thought to how many nutrients in particular I’m talking about phosphorus and potassium were removed. How do we replace those nutrients with fertilizer or manure sources?,” Riek-Hinz says. “We can optimize our soil test levels for next year to optimize our crop production we sometimes forget we do remove a lot of potassium in corn stock bales, but we remove a lot more potassium if we’re bailing up soybean stubble” Rieck-HInz says corn yields in her territory have been averaging 210-220 bushels an acre, soybeans have been averaging about 62 bushels an acre.