IARN — It’s been a busy fall for Iowa’s farmers and for the crops team at Iowa State University.
The ISU crops team focuses on integrated management for sustainable agriculture with three priorities: crops, soils, and pests. Field agronomist Meaghan Anderson has been out and about surveying harvest efforts. Anderson says the corn and soybean harvest has progressed well ahead of average in her region in central Iowa.
“I would say that for the most part harvest has been relatively smooth, or as smooth as it could be given all of the things that happened prior to harvest starting,” Anderson said. “We’ve had mostly good conditions. It’s been relatively warm for a lot of it until we cooled down here recently. It’s been relatively dry and so when people were able to get out in the field, they were able to get a lot done.”
“It’s been a little bit slow going for some farmers, obviously,” she added, “because of all the downed corn that happened prior to harvest starting.”
Anderson expects the 2020 harvest to wrap up over the next week or two. She says the rapid pace has left plenty of time for fall field work.
“People that I’ve visited with have moved on to thinking about those dry fertilizer applications and soil sampling,” Anderson said. “They are thinking about anhydrous and I know a little bit of it has gone on already, but with the warmer temperatures this week, I know several people are holding off until we get cooler the following week. Lots of time for field work this fall and a little bit of welcomed relief compared with what we’ve had in some of our past falls here recently.”
Anderson noted some farmers she’s talked to are concerned about the upcoming spring planting season because of the dry conditions we’ve experienced this fall.