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Harvest and Storage - History of Issues

  • 2013 - This year, while half of the Iowa’s corn crop was planted by mid-May, planting spread out over about two months, so there were various stages of maturity, often in the same field. Some fields were replanted more than once and as a result pollinated in August. Combine that with the heat wave that withered much of the state late in the growing season and you end up with a crop characterized by inconsistency. Corn yield and grain moisture varied widely across Iowa during harvest this fall. The key thing for a grower was to think about corn moisture levels, drying and storage costs. Iowa farmers who don’t emphasize good grain storage practices this fall will pay for it in the spring, when they find the corn they harvested contaminated with unusual amounts of mold. Uneven quality and maturity in this year’s corn harvest means grain storage management will take on even greater importance than in previous years. Aflatoxin was significantly lower than in the 2012 crop. The soybeans in the pods were smaller than normal this year. Soybeans are small but will be dry, except those fields that were planted quite late. Meetings were held in North Central Iowa to help farmers respond to late harvest, lower grain prices. Extension specialists discussed crop maturity, crop drying and potential effects of an early frost.



  • 2011 – Flooding in Western Iowa created storage issues by need to move large quantities form storage facilities in the path of river flooding. Any grain which was not moves and was contacted by flood water is considered to be adulterated and cannot be used for animal or human food. Another issue was crop development in July because of record heat causing early maturity and pollination in corn resulting in lower kernel weight and fewer kernels. Soybeans were affected by the weather by having low protein and low oil which is very unusal.




  • 2006 - The erratic rainfall patterns across Iowa have affected both yield and quality for corn and soybeans. Because more corn is likely to be stored for local use through the entire crop year, attention to harvest and storage management details will be very important.