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Rain is a Good Thing, Just at the Right Time

MONTICELLO, IA (CBS2/FOX28) – For farmers like Jason Russell, more rain can be a blessing and a curse.

“Last year, I believe the corn was probably up to my nose,” said Russell, a grain farmer in Monticello.

This year, his crop is barely ankle-high.

“It’s a little behind this year,” admitted Russell. “But still within what we can deal with.”

All because the rain came at the wrong time.

“The weather fouling immediately after planting was must more favorable for the other corn than it was for this,” said Russell.

In one of Jason’s fields, the rain at the end of May came once the crop had already broken through the soil, allowing the corn to get the most benefit out of the water.

“This is what we like to see. Good color,” said Russell. “It’s a little bit yellow for my taste but I think the warm weather will turn it around and it’ll be a good corn crop.”\

Just on the other side of the road, Russell’s corn is much smaller. It’s because the same rains that helped the corn on the other side of the road to thrive came too early in the growth cycle of the second ground of corn. As a result, some of those crops have not even broken the surface of the soil yet.

“Hopefully they come up,” said Russell. “I’m not going to ‘hold my breath’ so to speak.”

If he doesn’t see improvement over the next few days, Russell will have to replant part of the field.

“If we do have a return to normal, more ideal growing conditions, that corn would reach maturity before harvest time,” said Russell.

Even then, Mother Nature can still get in the way. Soggy fields could slow the replanting process and damage crops if machinery gets stuck in the mud.

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