By Jefferson Tyler, Multimedia Journalist
SOUTHEAST, IA (KYOU) – Farmers are working overtime right now to bring in the crops. Corn and soybean harvesting is several days behind schedule. Don Swanson is one of hundreds of farmers in Southeast Iowa, working hard to get the crop in on time. So far, though, they’re behind schedule.
“If it rains a little bit tonight. We’re going to be sitting until 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon,” said farmer Don Swanson.
Last year at this time 83% of soybeans in Iowa were harvested, this year, only 62% of the crop is in.
“Normally beans we’re worried about it being too dry. This year we’re worrying about it being too wet,” said Swanson.
He didn’t start harvesting today until noon. The problem? Overnight dew and small showers keeping it too wet to harvest.
“The moisture is actually working against us in this case. We’re having to put all this green stuff through the combine. These green stems are very hard to cut and the beans are barely dry enough,” said Swanson.
Farmers have to wait until the crops are dry to get their machines going. Decreasing the amount of time they have to work the fields. This may also be effecting corn harvesting, which the USDA says is down from 52% last year, to 33 % this year.
“Soybeans we want to get those out first of course, and they get too wet. So we jump back and get corn for half a day. And then soybeans will dry out again and we will go again,” said Swanson.
The precipitation may be a curse, but it’s also a blessing.
“It’s a record year in both corn and soybeans. Normally that doesn’t happen. It’s the best harvest of my career,” said Swanson.
He says normally soybeans turn about 50 bushels an acre. This year, it’s up to 70 bushels or more. This could lead to storage issues, and even the possibility of saturating the market.
Over-saturation, storage issues, and quality are just a few of the factors that may drive corn and soybean prices, up or down. The USDA says corn this year is rated 82% from good to excellent. So only time and the market will tell how prices will be effected by this year’s harvest.
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