BLOOMFIELD, Iowa — Due to the weather, Iowa farmers have planted the least amount of corn by this date since 1982. While northern and central Iowa are doing alright, farmers in southern Iowa are having a hard time.
Roger Wuthrich is part of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and says he thought he was ahead of the curve this growing season.
“We got in early. We had most of our corn planted and about half our beans and then the rain just started coming,” said Wuthrich.
After spending days in the fields planting in April, hundreds upon hundreds of acres were ruined. His fields held on to inches, if not feet of water.
“I had lakefront property that I had for sale but nobody wanted it,” said Wuthrich.
Now Wuthrich needs to replant entire fields. He is now past the deadline he needed to hit for corn crop insurance to kick in, and with fields still too wet to farm, he is quickly approaching the deadline for beans.
“On corn we’re losing a percent a day on our corn crop insurance payout, beans we still have till the 15th,” he said.
Wuthrich isn’t alone. According to the USDA, south central Iowa has 56 percent of their corn planted and southeastern Iowa has 62 percent of theirs in the ground. Based on a five-year average, 99 percent of corn should be in the ground by this date.
“Our overall crop at this point cannot be a very good crop. Even what we have planted, what did come up, what survived, is yellow; it’s hurt,” said Wuthrich.
Wuthrich is bracing for a punch to the pocketbook. He says he’ll have to cut back on family living expenses and refrain from purchasing equipment.
“We just hope we can keep our costs under control and move forward. As a farmer, we live for next year,” he said.
Wuthrich says there is a silver lining. Because the supply of crops will be down, the price of corn and beans will be up, but if farmers can’t get it planted soon, they will not be able to cash in.