Nicole Welle | July 27, 2020
Western Iowa has been abnormally dry recently, and nearly 40% of the state is now experiencing moderate to severe drought.
7.62% of Iowa is currently in severe drought, and 54% is now considered abnormally dry. Precipitation deficits have been accumulating for the last four to six months, and the continued drought could put crops and livestock at risk. Crops in areas most heavily affected by drought are showing signs of moisture stress, according to an SF article.
“We’re seeing pineapple corn. Corn leaves are rolling, soybean leaves are flipping over. You start to see the lower leaves on the corn firing,” said Iowa climatologist Justin Glisan.
The state has also been experiencing above-average temperatures for the last month. Farmers in areas affected by both drought and high temperatures are likely to see diminished crop yields, and the heat and dryness could be dangerous for livestock.
Specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship are offering a series of webinars starting July 30 that will help farmers plan ahead and manage their drought-stressed crops and livestock. The weekly webinars are meant to answer any questions participants may have, provide weather and drought updates and give updates on shortages and yield estimates.