Corn Doesn't Like Wet Feet
Location: Ames, IA
Featuring: Patrick, Ames High School Student
Iowans say that “rain makes grain” because their crops depend on summer rains to grow, but what happens when they get too much water?
The yield of any crop depends on a variety of factors, including the length of a growing season, crop types and varieties, soil quality, and seasonal rainfall patterns. Inadequate water drainage on agricultural land can delay planting, resulting in shorter growing seasons and fewer “growing degree units” (days before harvest) for a crop. Standing water on agricultural land can also cause stunted or shallow root growth and even crop failure due to excess water stress (lack of oxygen in a plant’s root zone).
“When I look at this field I see modern Iowa, which is polluting the water. I also see one of the many reasons we like tiling to help make the land more profitable by getting rid of standing water, but this makes me conflicted because my studies at Ames High School’s Blue Stem Institute have helped me become more environmentally aware and have opened my eyes to how complex and complicated agriculture is.”