Trent Stalzer steered down the rows of a corn field last week, surprised to be back in the combine seat just 24 hours after snow blanketed his Hardin County farm.
"We didn’t know for sure if we would go today, but it’s working pretty good," he said last Wednesday. "We had two to three inches of snow yesterday, but it all melted. The ground was all white."
The late October snow in northern Iowa, and freezing temperatures across the rest of the state, motivated farmers to forge ahead on harvest even under less than ideal conditions. Damp conditions and cloudy skies held up soybean harvest for several days, so most farmers turned to corn, even though it meant firing up the dryers on their grain bins.
"It’s time to be done," said Ryan Deahr, who farms near West Liberty in southeast Iowa. "We had to dry every bushel. We started harvesting when it was 25 percent (moisture). Now it’s coming out at 18-19 percent."
Polk County farmer Brad Moeckly said moisture was running 18 to 22 percent in his corn.
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