Farmers cope with reduced rain, prepare for altered harvest schedule

Local News

Central Iowa has experienced a variety of extremes in recent years. From snow and cold to abnormally dry conditions, it’s been a lot to contend with.

“I don’t know what an average year is any more,” said Gary Reinhart, a farmer. “It seems like we’re kind of at extremes, we’re either too wet or too dry.”

Reinhart is a fourth generation farmer. He and his family have dealt with all kinds of weather conditions over the years.

“Seasons have a way of making up for it,” said Reinhart. “You know I’m always at the point where I thought I figured we’d battle this eventually, because our roots weren’t going down because we had plenty of water, and of course now the drought’s hitting.”

As summer comes to a close, much of central Iowa is dealing with moderate drought.

“I’d rather see it this way where we maybe see plenty of subsoil moisture but we struggle on the topsoil,” said Reinhart. “So, I would take a couple of inches of rain now to really add to our crop.”

While Reinhart doesn’t expect to see his numbers slashed drastically, he expects to see a difference in the quality of some of his crops.

“The kernels won’t fill out clear to the end of the ear, and the beans won’t put as many pods on it,” he said. “So, this dryness will affect our yield in the long run.”

It’s why he and his fellow farmers are hoping for some steady rains,

“If we got a week to ten days of that, this corn would look completely different because it’d be suffering from that top side, but it’s those hot nights that really gets corn,” said Reinhart.

Despite the struggle, Gary’s grateful for his work and ready for whatever the seasons offer.

“Our life and our livelihood, depends on what drops from the sky or doesn’t drop from the sky or how hot it is, or how cool it is, but it’s a career we chose,” said Reinhart.
Many farmers expect to have their harvest delayed by at least a week or so, but more steady rain could alter that timeline again.

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