Devastating June Storms Cause Replanting in Iowa

The June 3rd storm was rather devastating for the crop. We got flat, golf-ball-sized hail, and it ended up being about 3 inches deep by the time it was done hailing. And then it proceeded to rain and storm. It pretty much wiped the whole crop out, so we ended up replanting. Luckily, not all of our fields got hit so hard, but we did have to replant on our two other farms as well.

The adjuster was with me eight days later, and he had to ask what the crop was— there wasn’t even enough to tell what we had planted. The crop was at least a foot tall before the storm; and when the adjuster came, it wasn't even recognizable as a crop. So we replanted, and we’re coming back. We are confident that it’ll work, and we hope the good Lord will take care of us.

We got all the new crops in around the 15th or 16th of June, and the new crop is coming on strong. We ended up going with a little earlier plant, but not much earlier. We just figured we would hit it hard and try to get it in fairly quick.

Now we just have to make sure the corn is healthy and happy. The corn right now is just catching up with the nitrogen as it starts to go down the soil profile. I use a nitrogen stabilizer with my anhydrous, which not only will help the other corn, but is immensely helping the new crop because it doesn’t start to break down as fast.

What need now more than anything are heat units. We need sunshine and warmth. When we get cold weather, it just slows everything down. But it is good for the corn that didn't get hit with the hail. The cold weather makes it mature slower, which actually makes it yield more because of the heavier grain.

As far as the crops go, we’re getting everything mowed and are busy waiting for the corn to start tasseling, and making sure the weeds are all controlled, and the bugs aren’t in it. But a lot of that depends on our corn — whether it’s been genetically modified and has bug resistance in the seed itself. I hate that term, because everyone has bad connotations about GMOs, but the way we are doing it, we’re actually saved from having to put on more insecticide. I would much rather have my plant determine that the bug can’t eat it, instead of me spraying something over the entire crop. With spraying, there's more potential for contamination or other problems, and non-targeted bugs to be killed by it too. But genetically modified corn is made specifically to repel corn borers, earworm, rootworm and so forth.

So it's just kind of a watch-and-wait program now. We’re doing some scouting too, and we walk through everything. But now that all the crops are in, I get to take a little vacation and go fishing. It's important to take your family on vacation. In my opinion, downtime is essential for every operation.