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Western Iowa farmer sees highly variable corn yields

Farming in the rolling hills of western Iowa, Kevin Ross expects to see some variability in corn yields every year.  But Ross says the extremes this year are exceptional.

“In this field I’ve been in today, it’s run anywhere close to 300, all the way down to 80,” Ross says with a laugh.

Corn yields overall will average around 190—not bad, he says, considering the lack of rainfall this summer. 

“We only had one rain that was over an inch in the entire growing season, which was in May. So it was really, really sparse for us all summer long—probably the least amount of rainfall I can remember since I’ve been farming,” Ross says.

“We had a full soil profile going in, so we were able to salvage some decent crops out of this. But I think we’ve depleted these soils pretty hard this year on moisture, for sure—and we’re going to need some help going into next year.”

Ross says his soybeans yielded in the 40 to 50 bushel range.

Ross is the immediate past president of the National Corn Growers Association.

AUDIO: Kevin Ross

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