Iowa’s drought ahead of winter is the worst in a decade

Via U.S. Drought Monitor

Grace Smith | December 13, 2022

Although Iowa’s drought conditions are improving since November, they are still the worst conditions in 10 years heading into winter, where the cold season and frozen grounds do not provide soil moisture an opportunity to improve. 

“Unless you get into a month like December of last year with the derecho and temperatures in the 70s — you will see some improvement from an anomalous event like that — but overall you don’t really see a lot of change through the wintertime,” State Climatologist Justin Glisan told the Iowa Capital Dispatch

Almost 30 percent of the state is suffering from a severe drought and about 73 percent of Iowa is experiencing moderate drought conditions, per the U.S. Drought Monitor

18 counties in the state are experiencing extreme and exceptional drought conditions in northwest Iowa. Some fields in these counties are also undergoing the worst crop yields in the state. In a November U.S. Department of Agriculture report, only 7 percent of northwest Iowa’s topsoil had adequate moisture. 

Despite northwest Iowa’s soil moisture, around 44 percent of Iowa had adequate or surplus topsoil moisture. The state’s corn yield average is still expected to surpass 200 bushels per acre, despite Iowa’s major drought conditions.

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