Caleb Akin and Noah Wendt flooded soybean field

Caleb Akin (left) and Noah Wendt farm together near Cambridge — when the rain lets them get into the field. A look at the soybean field near the river shows standing water peeking out between the rows.

CAMBRIDGE, Iowa — The combine is in the shed today, just like it has been for the last week.

“It’s just too wet,” says Caleb Akin, who farms with his friend, Noah Wendt. “You can’t harvest in this weather.”

That’s the story for farmers in this part of Central Iowa. Akin and Wendt managed to get about a third of their soybeans harvested as of Oct. 10. But at the moment, it looks like it will be at least a few days before any more beans come out of the field.

A drive past some of their fields tells the story. The river is out of its banks. Water runs across the gravel road at one point. A look at the soybean field near the river shows standing water peeking out between the rows.

“Really, it isn’t late yet,” Akin says. “But progress has been slow.”

Wendt peers out at the beans and tells the story of a volatile weather season.

“Around here it was way too wet in June, and that wasn’t good for the beans. We were dry in July, but now we’re wet again,” he says.

He pulls out his cell phone and pulls up a weather app that shows one of the fields received 46 inches of rain so far this year, well above average.

Akin and Wendt grow corn and soybeans. They also have a cattle operation. Right now the push is to get the cattle out of the mud as much as possible while they wait for the fields to get dry enough to combine. They don’t expect this to be one of their better yielding years, but they hope to have an OK harvest.

While they haven’t seen it, they have started to hear stories of soybean pods bursting because of the high moisture content. They hope things dry soon so that doesn’t happen in their fields.

Gene Lucht is public affairs editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.