Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode discusses the recent drought conditions affecting Iowa.
The worst drought since the 1950s is causing major issues for Iowa farmers.
This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.
As of mid-July, over 50 percent of Iowa’s soil was deemed substandard for moisture by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At this time a year ago, less than 10 percent of the soil was considered inadequate.
Because of this, the corn crop forecasts are more than 10 percent below what they were two months ago.
The poor soil conditions are mainly caused by limited rainfall, but are also hurt by Iowa’s high temperatures.
Other corn producing states, including Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, are dealing with even harsher conditions.
Climate experts link climate change to the increase in extreme weather events including heat waves and droughts like the ones we are experiencing this summer.
Such increase in extreme weather events was actually predicted by climate scientist over 20 years ago.
For more information on Iowa’s dry weather, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.
From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.