A growing season full of challenges

Heath Blomquist and dog, Marvin-Grundy Co.
Guthrie County Farm Bureau member Heath Blomquist checks his corn stand along with his dog, Marvin. With crops planted late and in less-than-ideal conditions, Iowa farmers are likely to face a variety of challenges before harvest. PHOTO / GARY FANDEL

Plenty of tough decisions are still ahead for Iowa corn and soybean growers, even with most crops in the ground and fewer prevented planting acres than anticipated. With much of Iowa’s corn and soybeans planted significantly later than normal — mostly in less than ideal conditions, crops across Iowa will face season-long challenges such as nutrient deficiencies and pressure from weeds, insects and diseases, says Mark Licht, Iowa State University Extension cropping systems specialist.

“We’re starting to see some sidewall compaction and crusting issues,” he says. “We don’t have the rapid root growth that we have most years. I would encourage farmers to do stand assessments now. That will give us some ideas as to which fields we need to be watching.”

Crop conditions are highly dependent on when fields were planted, Licht notes....

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