September 11th, 2020

posted by Andrew Blomme on 9/11/2020 in Weekly Newsletter

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Week of September 11, 2020

Andrew Blomme

This week has given us something we have not seen a lot of this year: Rain! This cold, wet week has been a welcome sight for many. In this week’s newsletter we will talk about the weather this growing season, the impacts of the recent rainfall, and take a look at Herbers Seed's 2021 seed financing program.


2020 Growing Season Weather Trends

The weather this growing season has been one of, if not the biggest struggle of the year. Rainfall amounts for 2020 have been comparable to 2012. Below are two maps that show rainfall totals for Iowa from April 20-September 5th for the years 2012 (top) and 2020 (bottom).2012 Rainfall

2020 Rainfall

As you can see, we are actually drier in 2020 (around 10 inches of rainfall) than we were in 2012 (about 14 inches of rainfall). Maybe even more interesting, is that we have only had a couple inches of rain since tassel. The map below shows rainfall totals from the second week of July, when tassels started to emerge, to the beginning of this week.

Rainfall since July

Most of our area only had the benefit of 2-3" of rain during that period while the corn crop increased its water uptake demand. During pollination, a corn crop can use up to 1/3” of water a day. Following that logic, over the past 2 months we have received enough rainfall to sustain a corn crop for only 7-10 days. This remaining deficit of over 10” of water needed by the crop had to come from moisture already in the soil. Soil moisture has been the saving grace for this crop but it is quickly getting depleted.  Those spots where soil moisture is exhausted are not hard to find this year, as evident in the picture below.

Dry Spots in Field

While it might be too late for the 2020 crop to utilize this rainfall, it will start to refill the well for 2021. This week we have received 3-4” of rain with the soil soaking all of it up. The soils in our area can typically hold 2-2.5” of water in every 1 foot of soil, so we have just moistened the top 1.5 feet of soil in most places. That moisture in the upper part of the soil profile will be very valuable as we look to apply fertilizer, specifically anhydrous ammonia, this fall for the 2021 crop.

We have a long way to replenish the well of soil moisture we had to start out 2020 but this week has been a good start to get there. As my grandpa always said, “It takes 30 days get into a drought and just 30 minutes to get out of one.” It might take more than 30 minutes this year, but we’re headed in the right direction.


2021 Herbers Seed Financing Program

Herbers Seed has partnered with JD Finance to provide a unique financing program for your 2021 seed inputs. Details can be found below and Lou and I will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding your 2021 seed inputs. 

JD Finance

About The Author

Andrew Blomme
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