Farmers in central, south Iowa impacted by drought

Iowa News

After heavy rain early in the summer, farmers in parts of the state are now worried about a drought..

Those concerns match up with the latest Iowa crop progress and condition report.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig said that 31 percent of the state’s subsoil is short or very short on moisture. 

That number gets even higher in southern parts of the state with nearly 85 percent of subsoil short on moisture. 

In the below image, the yellow area is abnormally dry, with the tan and orange being moderate drought, while the red piece indicates extreme drought. 

And those drought conditions are leaving a few farmers concerned. 

One corn and soybean producer said us, the damage is obvious.

“But the corn plant right now usually in August we shouldn’t be seeing the brown husks and and the yellow plants that we are seeing in some of this corn right now.”

Dennis Bogaards’ farm in Pella has seen better summers.

The lack of rain is really starting to affect his soybeans and corn. Dennis says they’ve had just barely enough water to keep growing.

“But with the corn now with the heat that we’ve been having and less rain we’ve been really able to see the corn shut down and get a lot more stress from the dryness here,” said Bogaards.

And Bogaards says his farm isn’t seeing it nearly as bad as others.

“The corn really doesn’t look too bad, if you go further south you’ll see that the corn starts to tip back and these kernels don’t develop,” Bogaards said.

And it’s not just the corn. The soybeans need a big drink of water too.

“It’s harder to see drought conditions right now in the soybeans. When it gets really hot and dry than the soybean leaves will actually start to turn over and almost look silver,” said Bogaards.

If the weather stays scorching, the soybeans will loose energy and start letting go of some of its pods.

“This is probably one that will come off of there pretty quick if it gets really hot and dry and it’s just a little one, but there’s two beans in there and if we can make those two beans on 140 thousand plants out here that makes a big difference in the yield,” said Bogaards. 

With harvest in sight, he prays his dehydrated crops get some much needed water. 

“We just gotta hope that mother nature gives us the rain that we need,” Bogaards said.

Bogaards is hopeful he will still have a successful harvest, but it would definitely put him at ease if he got a few more inches of rain in the coming weeks, especially for those soybeans that won’t be ready until early October.

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