On the Radio: Warmest March on record alters Iowa’s environment


Photo by Kenneth Ristau, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode discusses the effects of an unusually warm March on Iowa’s agricultural community.

Are you curious how the warmest March on record affected Iowa’s farming?

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Iowa’s warm March presented a dilemma for Iowa’s corn farmers. The conditions gave them the opportunity to plant early, but doing so risked heavy damage from a May freeze. However, farmers that planted early have a chance to sell their corn at a premium if it is ready by September.

Fruit farmers were not given a choice. The warm weather caused some fruit in Iowa to bloom early, making it susceptible to damage from a spring freeze.

The warm temperatures also caused pests to emerge earlier than usual. As a result, some farmers sprayed their fields early.

Bees, in particular, benefit from the weather. This could boost honey production, and assist crops that rely on bees for pollination including soybeans.

For more information on the effects of Iowa’s unusually warm temperatures, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

I’m Jerry Schnoor from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank You.

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