Across the region farmers are facing water in their fields that has not been this prevalent in more than a decade; many know the crop they planted is not going to keep growing.
When rain falls by the bucketful, everyone in the area is impacted. How that flooding impacts folks varies, as homeowners discard ruined items from wet basements and governmental units inspect roadways for washouts. Another group, however, faces the reality of a deluge in a more significant way, as they sit and wait while their livelihood stews in water covering their crops. Across the region crop farmers are facing water in their fields that has not been this prevalent in more than a decade, and because of that many know the crop they planted is not going to keep growing.
According to Bruce Potter of the Southwest Research and Out-reach Center near Lamberton, the longer the water is in the field the greater the chance of the crop being stunted or dying. “Farmers are still waiting for the fields to dry off before they can see what has actually happened,” said Potter Tuesday. “It’s hard to tell the extent right now, but it’s not good.” Once the field has dried, Potter said it is important to go out right away and look. When it comes to corn, Potter said one needs to look for the growth point, adding if it is still white or yellow then the plants should be OK. If there is any other discoloration the plant is not going to grow anymore. In areas where rain was heavy and the crop does recover, Potter said farmers need to watch for smut. When it comes to soybeans if there is good root tissue the plant can likely grow again, he said, adding there could be issues with Phytophthora. If the area is a loss, Potter said it is too late to replant corn for grain, but he said those who can use it for silage could plant again. At this time of year it is also likely planting soybeans may also be too late. Potter did emphasize the importance of planting something on the ground where plants have died, and he suggested a small grain, such as oats, to prevent the soil from having fallow issues. Producers are reminded to talk with their crop insurance agents before doing anything in the field to ensure they get what is needed for a claim. The good news is the sun is shining and the water is dissipating.