More of Southeast Iowa Hurting for Rain

Jun 20, 2016

While northwest and north Iowa farm fields are struggling with too much rain, a good share of southeast Iowa is too dry.   The USDA’s weekly update Monday afternoon lists more than 50-percent of south-central and southeast Iowa short to very short of top-soil moisture.

“Essentially the further south you go, the most severe it is,” says Muscatine-based Iowa State University agronomist Virgil Schmidt, who monitors an area from Dubuque and Manchester to the Missouri border.  “The National Weather Service at Burlington has recorded 0.22 inches of rain during the entire month of June so far.”

He says the lack of rainfall is visible.

“You see an awful lot of lawns dormant,” he says.  “The corn leaves have been rolling which is basically a moisture conversation technique. Corn leaves have been rolling down in that area for about a couple of weeks now actually. And we are seeing some of that north of Interstate 80 even.”

Schmidt says the dry weather might be trimming some potential yields, but all is not lost.

“We can still have excellent, excellent yields if the weather straightens out.”

The USDA’s weekly crop update is listing more than three-quarters of Iowa’s statewide corn acreage in good to excellent condition. Eighty-percent of the soybean fields get the highest rating.