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Rain Comes Too Little, Too Late for Southeastern Iowa Farmers

CHARITON, Iowa -- Farmers in Southeastern Iowa feel like they had the rug pulled out from under them.

“Everything looked so good early that us and a lot of neighbors you’d hear people say ‘it looks so good something’s gotta go wrong’” said farmer Kevin Luedtke.

Unfortunately, that premonition came true in the form of a drought.

“Beans and corn just had enough moisture to kind of get by `till around the first of July and then we just totally ran out of moisture” said Luedtke.

Luedtke farms in Lucas County, one of the 16 counties the U.S. Drought Monitor has graded as in severe or extreme drought.

Luedtke says the damage has been done and despite recent rains, the much of the corn crop is dried out.

“These look kinda bad, but when you start shelling these kernels off and realize how that’s almost all cob and hardly any kernels, it’s way worse than you first imagined” he said.

The rains have helped the long season soy beans, but Luedtke says it’s a balancing act. More rain could harm the already weakened corn, and not enough rain could hurt next year’s growing season.

“Doesn’t really matter what we hope for, we get what we get I imagine” he said.

The Drought Monitor will update the maps on Thursday to reflect the recent rainfall.