116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Business News / Agriculture
Iowa’s fickle weather takes emerging crops on roller coaster
Linn, Monroe and Wapello now disaster areas
DES MOINES — Iowa’s notoriously volatile and fickle weather patterns caused some roller-coaster effects for developing crops over the past week, state officials reported Monday.
Farmers reported many crops benefited from much-needed rain but more moisture is needed, especially in the northern two-thirds of the state, according to the latest crop report issued by the by the U. S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service. But there also were scattered reports of damaging hail and high winds throughout Iowa.
“An active weather pattern shifted into the Midwest last week bringing several days of widespread and beneficial rainfalls,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “The rain came just when moisture-stressed corn and soybeans needed it.
“Unfortunately, severe thunderstorms caused crop damage in parts of western and central Iowa, as well as flash flooding across southeastern Iowa,” said Naig, head of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. “The forecast shows additional chances of rain and milder temperatures are expected over the next week.”
Weekly precipitation totals ranged from slightly more than one-quarter of an inch in Sheldon to 8.1 inches in Cedar Rapids over the past week. The statewide weekly average precipitation was 2.13 inches, almost double the weekly normal of 1.09 inches.
Monday’s report followed last week’s updated assessment by the U.S. Drought Monitor that much of Iowa continued to face moderate to severe drought conditions, but timely and beneficial rains have at least stabilized crop conditions. About 44 percent of the state reported severe drought — mostly in northern and central Iowa — with more than 90 percent of the state considered abnormally dry.
Despite the volatile growing conditions, about 60 percent of Iowa’s corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition in Monday’s weekly crop progress and condition report. Also, soybean emergence was virtually complete with 19 percent of soybeans blooming — six days ahead of the five-year average with some scattered reports of plants setting pods and 58 percent of the overall crop rated in good to excellent
While precipitation fell across Iowa the past week, amounts received varied widely with northwest Iowa still reporting over two-thirds of topsoil moisture short to very short. In contrast, districts in the southern one-third of Iowa rated 60 percent or more of subsoil moisture adequate to surplus.
Even with the beneficial rains, topsoil moisture levels were rated 12 percent very short, with 82 percent short to adequate and 6 percent surplus, while half of Iowa was rated short or very short of subsoil moisture.
State climatologist Justin Glisan said several waves of showers and thunderstorms brought measurable rainfall statewide along with multiple days of severe weather. Parts of southern and northeastern Iowa received heavy rain, which led to localized flash flooding while portions of northwestern Iowa continued to miss out on higher totals.
On a related development, Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation Monday for Linn, Monroe and Wapello counties in response to severe weather beginning June 24 and continuing.
The governor's proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of this severe weather and activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents, along with the Disaster Case Management Program, for those three counties.
The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and temporary housing expenses. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. Potential applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim.
Comments: (515) 243-7220; firstname.lastname@example.org