BUSSEY, Iowa — It’s been a tough year for farmers from start to finish.
The state has seen a record-breaking month of rainfall with 7.38 inches statewide this October, beating the 1941 record of 7.29 inches.
For farmers, coming out of a late spring and hitting another hurdle with a wet fall season feels like “being pushed when already down.” That plus uncertainty from the trade wars makes for a “difficult” year, if you ask corn and soybean farmer Steve Kuiper.
“We had a late spring. It was a real rush this spring, you had some small windows to get stuff done,” Kuiper said. “Now the crops are coming it wet. It seems like the corn is drying harder than it typically does.”
He said traditionally, his family starts harvesting on the 10th or 15th of September but this year they started around the 22nd.
Due to the extra rain, the field conditions have been poor. Kuiper said the muddiness is harder on the equipment and takes more time. Additionally, he is using twice the amount of propane than usual for storing the crops. So overall, it makes for longer days, harder work and added costs.
“Usually we’re wrapped up first or second week of November,” he said.
Kuiper said he is about three or four weeks behind schedule for fall. Only about 60 percent of his soybeans are harvested, and about 30 percent of his corn.
“It does put financial pressure on everyone,” he said. “You can tell people are just sick of it. There’s guys ready for the year to be done, put stuff in the shed and see what next year brings.”
While this season has been more trying from start to finish, Kuiper said the only option is to continue onward.
“Regardless, we’ll keep harvesting until we’re done.”