Extreme heat has Iowa farmers worried - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Extreme heat has Iowa farmers worried


No state grows more corn than Iowa, helping make the U-S the world leader in corn production, growing 13.6 billion bushels in 2015. 

Some corn farmers got off to a late start due to winter weather, rain and with this extreme heat over the next few days, its putting further stress on their yield. 

Kelly Nieuwenhuis of Nieuwenhuis Farms is checking to see how this extreme heat is stressing his corn crop., he says the stalks are starting to turn in, just a bit, to protect itself, but luckily the stress isn't too bad just yet.

"It's something farmers have to deal with each year, we put our crops in but we still have to rely on the weather,' said Kelly Nieuwenhuis, Farmer.

The topsoil in Iowa is known to be the best in the planet for corn, but to keep his soil and crop in tip top condition, Nieuwenhuis diversifies. 

"We off-set the corps from year to year, to eliminate disease pressure, some years we go corn on corn, some years we go corn to soybean, we rotate it around to help keep the disease pressure down," continues Nieuwenhuis. 

Nieuwenhuis Farms has 2,100 acres across Siouxland. His corn is used for live stock feed and ethanol, an industry he says has room for growth. 

"As farmers our yields continue to grow each year, due to technology and better practices. Before the ethanol industry started we were raising about 10 billion bushels of corn a year in the U.S. and now we are raising 15 billion and we are grinding about 5 of that for ethanol. 

When it comes to producing corn for ethanol, nothing is wasted. They only use the starch from the kernel for ethanol, while the rest is by product that is high in protein used for livestock feed. 

Ethanol has another great use here - the Iowa Corn 300. 

The Indy race takes place this Sunday, July 9th at 4:45 p.m. at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. The 300 laps are run on 85% ethanol.

For more information visit www.iowa300.org.

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