Southeast Iowa combines waiting

Duane Boysen and Tim Jones had parked their combines to wait out rains in Southeast Iowa.

COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa — A dry growing season tempered expectations in areas of Southeast Iowa.

“I really didn’t think we were going to have much at all for yields,” Duane Boysen said. “I thought we’d have a lot of barren stalks. For the year — the temperature and the moisture — I’ve been pleasantly surprised.”

Boysen and Tim Jones, who farm near Columbus Junction and Wapello, Iowa, agreed that early numbers are good.

“Corn yields are a little better than what most farmers expected, and the bean yield is the same, but it’s a big range,” Jones said. “It could be from 70 bushel corn to 230 bushel corn in the same field, so it might only average out to 170, but that’s still pretty good with how dry we’ve been.”

September and October rains have slowed harvest. Jones said the area is around 30 percent finished with corn and 15 percent of beans as of Oct. 12. He said the average for this time of year is 50 percent for both crops.

“We aren’t in panic mode yet because it’s only Oct. 12, but it feels like it’s later in the season than it really is,” Jones said.

However the rains have also brought some concerns for the quality of the crop once harvest is able to resume. Speed will be key, Jones said.

“Quality has been OK up to this point, but if we continue to get rain and cool weather, we could start getting some kernel conditions on some of the corn,” Jones said.