Farmers Getting Stuck in Wet Fields

JONES COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG)- A forecast of wet soggy weather for the next week or so is not something eastern Iowa farmers want to hear. Farmers are getting frustrated with the wet weather that’s preventing them from getting crops out of the field.

Muddy farm fields in Jones County on Monday, October 1, 2018. (DAVE FRANZMAN/KCRG)

And some farmers are getting so anxious they’re taking more risk with equipment in the wet fields.

Steve Koob of Koob’s Towing in Monticello has large wreckers and cranes to handle the usual on-road mishaps. But about a half dozen times a year, he’ll get called to rescue farm equipment stuck in a field.

This fall, though, he’s pulled six large pieces of farm equipment out of the muck just the space of a week’s time.

“We figured we’d possibly get busier this year because of the weather and the time. We’ve been here before, though,” Koob said.

Some farmers remember muddy falls before with the struggle to get corn and soybean crops safely in the bins.

Brenton Greif just started farming with his father 10 years ago. So watching one of the family’s large grain wagons sink up to the rims in a field was a next experience for him.

The family managed to get the wagons out with tractors.

Greif says the weather pattern is troubling, but it’s still early in the harvest season.

“I’m not terribly concerned yet. If we get to the last half of October and we’re sitting here waiting then I’ll get really concerned,” he said.

Greif said he expects to wait at least a week for the fields to start drying before getting equipment out again.

And farmers do have other concerns besides the risk of getting stuck. Heavy equipment can compact wet soils which will cause problems with next year’s crops.