FARMER FEARS: Conditions Dangerous For Crops
The lack of rain is creating stress all over the state. That, combined with this intense heat, is making water extremely valuable. Des Moines water works has issued a water alert, asking people to avoid use between the hours of 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Nearly 89 million gallons of water were pumped on Tuesday and Wednesday. The record was 92,000,000 gallons in June of 2006.
“We have sufficient water flow, remarkably coming down the river so source water has not been a problem on a quantity stand point,” said Randy Beavers, the CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works. He says although they are asking people to be cautious, there’s no reason for concern yet. “Conservation is used when we actually get into a formal drought situation and there is insufficient water coming down the rivers and at this point we’re not foreseeing this is going to be the case.”
For farmers, the time for concern is now.
“We could be looking at some real devastating effects with this heat wave and no moisture,” said Mark Kenney, a farmer in Nevada, “There`s little we can do to control that heat. On a day like today this afternoon we`ll certainly see this corn roll up, in defense mode.”
Kenney said the only thing saving his crop now is the moisture saved up in the soil. But even that could run out soon.
“Here typically we don`t have heat stress like this. Here typically our problem is too much moisture, we’re trying to get the water away,” said Kenney.
This combination of heat and dry weather won’t just have an effect on the farmers producing the crops: The Iowa Farm Bureau says it could mean higher prices for things like meat, dairy and eggs at the grocery store. Officials say although those price jumps won’t be seen right away it will have a long-term impact.