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Will Local Crops Meet Record-Setting Expectations?

A report released last week by the USDA predicts a record-setting harvest this fall for both corn and soybeans, but will that be the case for the Marion County area? Jay Van Woerkom, Agronomy Sales Manager at Two Rivers Cooperative in Pella, says while the crops are progressing well in some areas of the county, there are other acres that have been heavily impacted by soggy weather and disease.

Particularly, he says some of the soybean crop is struggling with what is known as “Sudden-Death Syndrome”, along with Brown Stem Rot; adding that while the remaining soybean crop looks good, he’s not sure if it will be a record harvest locally.

As for corn, Van Woerkom says this summer has been too wet for a lot of corn to properly develop. He said some fields have begun to turn yellow again because of the excess moisture and some of the ears are not developing correctly. Additionally, wet soil has led to shallow root structures, which has made it hard for the plants to absorb nitrogen and other nutrients.

Still, while Van Woerkom says there is a lot of variance in the condition of the local crops, he is hopeful that this fall will be another pleasantly surprising harvest in terms of productivity for many area farmers.