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Rain not necessarily making grain
May 26, 2013 - Larry Kershner
What a difference a year can make. Up until this weekend, there were not many negative comments from farmers about the amount of rain we've been getting this growing season. But with Iowa less than 100 percent planted in corn, and almost no soybeans in the ground, this weekend's rain system is probably the first official untimely weather event to strike the state. Ponding is evident throughout the Farm News coverage area, with increasing numbers of flooded fields as one travels northeast from Fort Dodge. Last week, Rachel Halbach, an agronomist for Hagie Manufacturing in Clarion, said this season any nitrogen stabilizer farmers applied last fall "will be paying for itself." On May 8, Mark Johnson, an ISU agronomist, said farmers could still expect to get 90 percent of expected yield potential if corn is planted before month's end. But what does that mean for soybean planting which is lagging far behind last year and the five-year average? The latest rain system that started Friday and included Sunday's torrential downpours will keep 2013 bean acres well soaked until at least next week, assuming there are no more storms in this current pattern. Unfortunately, forecasts call for more thunderstorm until the middle of this week. Soybeans are not in big trouble yet, but this delay will overlap with other must-do field work like first cut hay, post-emergence herbicide in corn. Who would have thought that the first year out of a near-record drought would end up this wet? I didn't.
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Fields are filling with water and tile systems are laboring to get excess water out of the soil along D20 between Fort Dodge and Duncombe.