Recent rainfall in Siouxland a boost for some crops, too late for others

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LE MARS, Iowa (KCAU) – The Siouxland area has seen great amounts of rainfall this past week while still being under drought conditions. According to the National Weather Service, Sioux City had 3.5 inches of rainfall in the past seven days.

Although rain totals exceeded the average for the month of August, on the year, the region is experiencing a 6 inch deficit. Recent readings from the drought monitor still lists most of Siouxland under at least abnormally dry conditions despite the rain. But, not all hope is lost for farmers this season.

Iowa State Extension Field Agronomist Joel DeJong said different parts of Northwest Iowa accumulated up to 8 inches of rainfall.

“We are getting fairly late in the season, having rain right now does help some, but it would’ve helped more if it came sooner so we could utilize it for a longer time period. At this stage of the game, this corn crop on an average day is still going to be using about two-tenths of water a day. We still have some use. We can still fill those ears better, we can still fill those soybean pods better as long as they’re not mature at this stage of the game,” said Joel DeJong.

DeJong adds there are some crops that won’t get any benefits from recent rainfall this season, but that doesn’t mean future rainfall cannot help in the long term.

“We have some where the season is pretty much over and this won’t help them at all for this season this year. But even in those fields, we have a lot of water holding capacity in the soil. By the time we start the next growing season, we’d like to fill that up quite a bit before we get there.”

Some soil can hold an additional 8 to 12 inches of water, which serves as a much needed boost to next year’s planting season.

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