Drought Conditions Increase in Southern Iowa

Iowa farmers had most of the week to get out into the fields according to the Iowa Crop Progress report, which some spent surveying damage from storms.

Most of corn has now silked, 88 percent, 11 days ahead of the five year average. Seven percent of the corn crop is at the dough stage, three days ahead of last year. Conditions are 79 percent good to excellent.

Eighty-one percent of soybeans are blooming with 40 percent setting pods, about six days ahead of the average. Soybean conditions are rated 76 percent good or excellent.

Two weeks ago, temperatures were five to six degrees above normal with the corners getting more than usual rain. Last week, temperatures were below average for most of the state.

But southern Iowa is still getting no rain, and drought conditions are continuing to increase. The crop progress report says subsoil moisture in South and Southeast Iowa are nearing 75 percent short to very short.

State Climatologist Dr. Justin Glisan says, “In terms of temperature, the next up to three weeks to even a month, it looks like average temperatures are going to be below normal. Which, in the absence of precipitation, does help mitigate some of these crop stresses and livestock stresses that we’re seeing in these drought areas.”

Glisan adds the El Nino watch is at 60 percent for the fall season, which would end up impacting the winter months. In Iowa, that tends to mean a warmer winter with more precipitation.