Despite a bone-dry summer, both corn and soybeans are exceeding producers' expectations, according to Paul Kassel, ISU Extension field agronomist for our area.
Kassel serves not just Emmet County but a 10-county area that also includes Dickinson, Clay, Palo Alto, Kossuth, Winnebago, Hancock, Buena Vista, Pocahontas and Sac counties.
Kassel agrees that yields were a surprise to a lot of producers.
"We're quite fortunate to have good crops," Kassel said, noting that Palo Alto and Emmet were among the best. Places like Sioux, Buena Vista and Hancock counties, though, are not faring nearly as well, said Kassel.
"Just the good soil really showed up," said Kassel. "It's been 180 or better" for corn. That compares with 120 or less in poor soil.
With soybean harvest wrapping up last this week or early next week, Kassel said yields have been reported in the high 50s or better.
But with roots going deeper toward moisture, though, it means we're going to have to make up for a dry summer over the winter.
"We're pretty much tapped out and beyond tapped out" on subsoil moisture," Kassel said.
And, despite early fears about aflatoxin, Kassel said that's been limited even in the southern part of the state where concern was greatest.
And fears that it's been too dry for beans - with pods breaking open - could have something to them.
"I'm sure it's a concern," Kassel said, noting that yields could be cut by three to four bushels an acre for some producers.
Depending on exports from South America, demand could continue strong.
"There will be a lot of eyes on South America in terms of soybean crop," Kassel said.