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Growth stage of corn and beans varies widely

(Radio Iowa) – The latest U.S.D.A. crop report out Monday said cooler weather last week helped the corn and soybeans progress, but even with the help, the condition of the crop can very widely. Riley Lewis grows 18-hundred acres in Winnebago County near Forest City. He says you can easily see the difference in growth by looking at the cornfields.

“Fields that are fully tasseled and there are fields right next to it in the fence line that are just shoulder high with corn,” Lewis says. “If you took the farmers out here and say, throw away the calendar, tell me what you look at the crops — especially the beans — what time do you think the time of the year is if you’re looking at the crops today, and most of them will say it’s the Fourth of July.”

Lewis says crops in north Iowa are at least two weeks behind normal for growth. You can see it in the bean fields too. “Beans have just really struggled out here. Some of them call them ”baby beans’‘cause they just don’t have the giddy-up and go this year, and so we’re wondering what is going to be at the end of this harvest when it’s all done,” according to Lewis.

The U.S.D.A. report shows 74-percent of the corn crop has tasseled, well behind last year’s 99-percent and the five-year average of 88 percent. Half of the corn crop was silking, lagging behind last year’s 96-percent and the normal 77-percent.

The report says 63-percent of the soybean crop was blooming, behind last year’s 92-percent and the five-year average of 83-percent. Pods were being set on 14-percent of the soybean crop, trailing last year’s 54-percent and the normal 43-percent.