Iowa farmers will soon be returning to their fields to begin another year of planting crops. For many, the massive derecho that blew through the state last August is still top of mind. In a report from Radio Iowa, Iowa State University extension agronomist Mark Licht discussed how the downed corn from the devastating storm left ears and kernels on or near the soils’ surface and some will produce so-called 'volunteer corn.'

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When referring to volunteer corn, Licht says

For all practical purposes, we consider them a weed because they are taking water, they’re taking nutrients away from the intended corn or the intended soybean crop

Roman Gorielov
Roman Gorielov

Licht went on to say he believes many farmers who have fields in the derecho-affected areas where corn was planted will be switching to soybeans this planting season because the herbicides that farmers use to kill that unproductive volunteer corn won’t kill the soybeans.


The derecho struck on August 10th in 2020 and was the most damaging thunderstorm in U.S. history, causing more than 13-billion dollars damage, most of it in the state of Iowa.

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