MASON CITY, Iowa - After several days with rainfall last week, we're finally receiving some sunshine in our area.
But as we gear up for harvest season, has the rainfall helped farmers ahead of the start of harvest?
Brent Renner has been farming near Klemme for about 20 years, growing alfalfa, corn and soybeans, and received 5 in. of rain last week. He feels that the rain didn't aid much, as the current crop began maturing a couple weeks ago.
"Maybe started to lose some of the benefit from the moisture, for a couple of different reasons. Leading up to it, how dry we were. We were short on rainfall in August and started towards the end of July to run out of a little moisture in most cases. And because of the earlier planting dates that we had back in the spring. The crop was that much further ahead. Every year's different, every situation's different. I think for the most part what rain we got last week benefitted recharging more soil moisture for next year than anything else."
He's reached out to nearby farmers, who are in the same boat, and have also seen other patterns across the state.
"We don't think of Iowa being a really large state, but it's really diverse when it comes to seasons of agriculture. As far south as Keokuk, I'm sure in some cases in full swing of harvest right now, and we're a little behind them."
Despite the challenges this year, from a pandemic to a derecho that wiped out millions of acres of cropland in Central and Eastern Iowa, Renner expects his crop to turn out fine.
"It's reminded me of how much we're reliant on mother nature. We're probably going to be blessed with a crop in our immediate area, but you don't have to go far and they're going to be hurting pretty bad with yields. As we found out from our friends in Central Iowa, it can look good and then it's flat or gone. You never know. It's part of our business is the risk."
The latest map from the U.S. Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska that was released last Thursday shows that North Iowa is split between the abnormally dry and moderate drought stages. In Minnesota, only a sliver of the area is the abnormally dry stage.