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Soybeans A Potential Disaster for Iowa Farmers
LINN COUNTY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Local farmers say its already been too hot and dry for their crops. The National Weather Service is saying drought conditions will only continue or get worse. Despite all that, local farmers still say they cant harvest their crops until later this month or early October, even if it means losing some of their yield to the extreme conditions.
"The heat stress is at work, said the President of the Iowa Corn and Soybeans Growers Association John Airy. See? The leaves are turning upside, it's trying to protect itself from the heat of the day. From the heat of the sun."
Airy says most of his soybean crop is still green, but now concedes that hes going to lose part of it. Just down the street from Curt Zingulas farm, its even worse. Its pretty easy to find large patches of completely dead soybean plants.
"Just a few acres of this kind of death with dramatically reduce our overall yield average, said Zingula.
With hot temperatures and nearly no rain, what was healthy about a month ago now sits mostly wilted and brown.
"These beans looked great three, four weeks ago, said Zingula. They were looking good until we ran out of moisture."
Farmers play a dangerous game trying to time their harvest with the weather. Most of the crop was planted late this year because of too much rain this spring.
So now farmers are stuck, because we had a lot of late beans and the beans just arent mature, said Airy.
That makes an early harvest a waste of time. But now, with 16 days of no rain, and non in the forecast, there may not be much worth picking.
"I think we have a looming disaster here in that we will not produce enough soybeans to meet our country's demand, said Zingula.
The average acre of soybeans would pay the farmer about $625 and your average farmer worked about 200 to 300 acres per year. Thats about $100,000 of revenue that could be lost due to extreme conditions. Crop insurance helps, but local farmers say at best, it would only cover about two-thirds of that lost revenue.