Like many farmers across Iowa, Mike Sibbel will start harvest a week or two later than normal this year due to a late-planted crop. In the meantime, he’s watching the condition of his corn crop closely and hoping it stays standing upright until it’s ready for the combine.

"I hope we don’t get any more bad winds," Sibbel said last week as thunderstorm clouds built up west of his Carroll County farm. "Some of this corn probably can’t stand much more."

Several stresses

A variety of stresses this year has caused stalk quality to deteriorate quickly this fall, according to Mark Johnson, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension crop specialist in north-central Iowa. Much of the crop was planted in wet conditions, which hindered root development and limited nutrient uptake. Exceedingly hot and dry weather ...