ISU Extension Agronomist Calls Crops Dry, Not in a Drought

GRISWOLD, Iowa- For most people in Iowa we need to know if rain is coming so we can decide when to mow our lawn. How much rain people, or their neighbors get is often a topic of conversation.

For Aaron Saeugling, it’s not just about the Iowa State University Armstrong Research Farm, where he works as an agronomist.   He also monitors crops for 14 counties in southwest Iowa. He drives from Osceola, all the way to Council Bluffs.

“I think dry is a much better term for us drought that's not to say there are not isolated fields out here that are struggling more than others,” said Saeugling. “I’m not a meteorologist but for 17 years here in Southwest Iowa the weather pattern here is spotty at best.”

The Extension Field Agronomist said that some crops now are slow to shoot up, due to the late planting after heavy spring rains.

“We had a lot of variable times in terms of planting,” said Saeugling. “Some people would tell you that it was never better, and then I have growers say they just fought it the whole way.”

Saeugling said he gets asked to predict how the crops will turn out.

“Prediction it is a fancy word for guess,” said Saeugling. “Often times,  I do get asked to kind a predictor see where were at and get a feel for where were at in terms of crop growth and production.

This year he says that if you count all 14 counties he serves, the year would be about average. That would mean some are above average, and some below average.

He added while farmers may not control the weather, they can always check their crops for disease or insects.