Harvest Begins in Iowa for Specialty Corn

Sep 10, 2013

A late-summer corn crop in Iowa (2012).
Credit Sarah McCammon

Harvesting is underway in Iowa of corn grown for specialized purposes.

In a field near Ankeny, Paul Mens was operating one of two corn pickers this week, specially designed for harvesting the corn ears that will be shelled at a nearby Monsanto seed corn processing plant.

“In my opinion, for what this has been through, the yield is real good," he says, referring to challenging weather this year. "You can tell where the wet spots were, where it was too wet this spring, but overall, it’s doing real well."

Monsanto is paying Mens to harvest the crop for a future hybrid seed corn variety.

Iowa’s market corn harvest is still a few weeks away, but the harvest of specialized corn could be a preview of how the drought is affecting that crop.

"This earlier variety came on before the dry weather hit," Mens says. "As we get further into the season, we’ll see how bad that did hurt.”