An updated map by the U.S. drought monitor shows a significant expansion of drought conditions through eastern and northwest Iowa.
Rainfall totals in Iowa for the months of May and June were less than half of normal, and what little precipitation the state received has been baked from the soil by a heatwave generating temperatures of 100 degrees or more across the state.
Bryce Knorr of Farm Futures Magazine said this morning “triple digit heat will cover much of the heart of the Corn Belt again today, with only partial relief in sight. While temperatures will slowly cool from the northwest, only limited chances for rain are in sign for key states over the next week.”
The United States Department of Agriculture categorized more than half of Iowa’s farmland as moisture-deficient on Monday despite an average of 1.5 inches of rainfall last week.
“We could definitely use a couple of inches of rain right now to get things going,” said Russ Meade, who farms soybeans and corn in a farm outside Tiffin, Iowa. “There are some beans just popping their head out of the ground right now. We need to get another inch or two (of rain) to make sure everything that’s still left out there can pop out.”
Iowan’s have not experienced significant rainfall since May 6, according to state climatologist Harry Hillaker, and although the state isn’t facing a record dry spell, high temperatures and low humidity have caused precipitation in the air and ground to evaporate faster than normal.