“We got through the most critical time of pollination for corn in pretty good shape right now we're waiting for moisture to fill those kernels to fill out,” says local farmer Bob Phelps.
But the moisture hasn't been there. Both soybeans and corn fields are showing signs of stress.
Because of increased fuel and fertilizer some farmers have cut back on their fertilization this year. That combined with the recent dry conditions have started to show in the corn fields. The tops of the corn are still green and healthy, but at the base the stalks are drying up and the leaves are falling off. That process is called firing. Corn tries to keep the kernels moist so it dries out at the base. The situation is even more critical for soybeans.
“They always look at corn in July and soybeans in august. We are stress out now with our soybeans,” Phelps says.
Soybeans are in survival mode, keeping their energy focused on staying alive rather than in reproducing. So unless we get a little rain farmers could be harvesting soybean pods with no actual beans inside of them.