ROSE HILL, Iowa — It was a long hot summer in Mahaska County. The area was in a drought until late summer rains came. Now farmers in the area are starting to run corn.
“This is our second day of harvesting corn, beans are not quite ready yet, but we’ve been struggling a little bit with the moisture we’re about 10 inches below moisture on the average for the year,” said Mark Jackson, who farms with his son Michael east of Oskaloosa. “Corn harvest right now is good I say a little bit above average.”
Jackson so far has gotten around 240 bushels to the acre on early corn fields he has harvested. The corn on Thursday was testing around 20% for moisture so the harvest was put on hold, so the warm sun and wind would dry the crop at no cost. If not that route, Jackson would have to dry the corn down to 15% moisture using fuel in the dryer, which has gone up in cost.
“Fuel LP prices have gone up a dollar or 2 1/2 dollars a gallon for LP which is the main factor farmers use to dry,” said Jackson. “We like to let mother nature dry it down as much as we can, but we also have to look at the calendar and realize winter is coming, you don’t want to be caught in the snow or the rain.”
The Jackson Farm has been no till for some time. So now they use an attachment on the combine to help get the ground ready to plant no-till in the spring.
“As the corn comes down through the rollers, the sharp edges cut, and then it goes forward this roller rolls and tips and sets the corn stalk over so if you have that flat mat on the ground,” said Jackson.
Jacksons could not yet start the soybean harvest, as that crop is too green yet.