In-Season Optimism in Iowa

It’s been raining out there, but we’re busy in the shop. Every year we make some pepper sticks, like beef jerky. Usually we do it in the winter, but we’ve had so much going on that we’re just now getting to it. A lot of times we use our own beef, but this time we cheated. We use some beef, some pork; we add cheese. It’s a good way to take a break and do something different.

As far as the crops go, we’re catching up nicely. And actually this rain today is not a bad thing. We’re just a little over waist high on most of our corn, and I think we’re progressing all right, especially since we got planted kind of late.

We’ve got most of our spraying caught up, but we have been noticing some northern corn leaf blight lesions on the corn already, so we’ll start spraying fungicide in about a week. There are several spores, funguses and whatnot that didn’t hurt us last year but are bound to affect us this year. But we’re watching for it, so when we see that happening, we treat it.

Denny and the other AgVenture employees have been great at tipping us off to some of the stuff moving in. About three weeks after we put our fungicide on, we’ll spray again with insecticide. But right now, we’re just letting nature do it’s thing and taking care of our cows and calves. We’ve got 180 cows and the last of our three groups is just finishing up calving. We might have a couple late ones yet, but most of it is done. And it’s been nice to utilize all of last year’s corn stalks and a little bit of hay to keep them happy.

Watching the Markets, Feeling Optimistic

We’ve had enough moisture to feel confident going forward. We’re by no means dry, but it was starting to get to where we could use a little bit of rain. Since we had so much early rain and then everything just quit, it wouldn’t be good for the crop.

But with all that rain we had, the markets have really taken a turnaround. We’ve been fortunate that 99.9% of our corn is in and we’re not dealing with flooding like some of the other areas of the country are. All in all, it’s looking pretty good for us.