Pollock rains delayed harvest in Southwest Iowa

Helen Pollock ran the combine while her husband, Tom, drove the tractor. They worked late Oct. 4-5 before rains delayed harvest in Southwest Iowa.

MALVERN, Iowa — Most farmers in Southwest Iowa harvested in the darkness Oct. 4 and into Oct. 5, knowing a long period of rain was on its way.

Tom Pollock was one of them.

“We went pretty late that night,” he said Oct. 11. “We haven’t been in the field since.”

Pollock and his wife Helen farm near here in Mills County. He said about 20 percent of his corn has been harvested, along with about 15 percent of his beans.

“We’re behind schedule, especially with the beans,” the Southwest Iowa farmer says. “The biggest concern is downed beans — how moldy they might be and if we can even pick them up.”

He says corn plants have not deteriorated a great deal over the past week, but there is concern about stalk quality.

“Quite a bit of it is in questionable condition,” Pollock said. “We need some wind to dry out the fields, but we are worried about what might happen with some of the corn.”

He estimates his fields have received 6 to 7 inches of rain since the start of harvest, with most of that coming since Oct. 1. Pollock started harvesting Sept. 18.

“Depending on what we might get for rain, we hope to start back in the field Monday (Oct. 15),” he says. “We’ll go back to working in the hills. It’s going to take a while for the bottom ground to dry out.”

Jeff DeYoung is livestock editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.