Late-season rains pushed back seed corn harvest in Iowa.
Harvest crews have been running steady over the past few weeks, and we are now starting to see cover crop growth spread across the once barren fields.
Adam Nechinacky, of Buckingham, Iowa, has recently been assisting with seed corn harvest. He speaks to the work put in by harvest crews over the past month.
“We’re picking for the Grinnell plant, for Bayer, and have been running around Conrad, Beaman, Grinnell and Reinback. Getting around pretty good, but the weather’s been rough,” Nechanicky said. “It’s been wet and muddy, but we’ve been pushing through. We’re trying to get the acres covered because they’re talking a pretty good frost this weekend.”
Early harvest of seed corn provides farmers an opportunity to establish cover crops immediately after. Nechanicky speaks to cover crop establishment in Grundy and Poweshiek County.
“This is one where you can see, on the end rows, cover crops were put on. I haven’t seen much of anything in-field yet. A lot has been aerial applied. I think that’s done now,” Nechanicky said.
The field Nechanicky referred to belongs to Steve Anderson, of Beaman, Iowa. Anderson applied cover crops along the edges of his seed corn field, where male rows previously stood. He plans to go back in after harvest and cover the entirety of the field.
Anderson, on Tuesday, shared where he sits in regard to cover crop implementation.
“We have about half the seed harvested and the other half is going to get harvested today (Tuesday). But because of the fall we’ve been struggling through, it’s been pretty wet out in fields. What I’ve done so far, to speed things up, is I have had the coop spread rye along with some potash out in fields. We then ran a vertical tillage tool across it to incorporate it. We got that done just before some nice rains,” Anderson said.
Both Anderson and Nechanicky participate in the Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crop Initiative, a project developed by the Iowa Seed Association. The project looks to increase cover crop adoption, specifically within Iowa’s seed corn production system. Cost-share assistance is provided to growers planting cover crops on seed corn acres only, thanks in part to the Iowa Department of Agriculture’s Clean Water Initiative program.
For more information about the program, visit www.sustainableseedcorn.org.