Crops suffer as Iowa’s drought worsens

By Jared Strong (Iowa Capital Dispatch) — Drought conditions across southern Iowa have led to the state’s corn and soybeans recently being rated their poorest yet this year.

About 73% of the state’s corn crop is rated good or excellent, down from 76% a week ago, the USDA report said. About 71% of soybeans were rated the same, down from 73% last week.

Those declines were the result of abnormally warm weather: The state averaged about 5 degrees above normal last week, according to Justin Glisan, the state climatologist for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Rainfall was highly variable, with very little for central and southern Iowa. The percentage of Iowa in drought status nearly doubled in the U.S. Drought Monitor’s report late last week, from about 17% to about 31%. Much of that gain was attributable to southern Iowa, according to the report.


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