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Crop conditions were steady heading into a very hot week

By: - July 18, 2022 4:49 pm

Corn in much of the state has sufficient water to grow. (Photo by Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

The condition of Iowa’s corn and soybean crops remained relatively unchanged last week, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Monday, but a stretch of very hot, dry weather is expected for days this week.

“Near-average temperatures and timely rainfall helped push along tasseling corn over the past week,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said on Monday. “As county fair season ramps up, outlooks show hot and dry conditions will develop over the next week as limited chances of rain will increase the likelihood of drought expansion in northwest Iowa.”

Upcoming weekday high temperatures are predicted to be in the 90s for a large area of Iowa, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures might reach 100 degrees in Sioux City on Thursday and Friday.

That area of the state is the driest and has been suffering extreme drought for nearly a month, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Recent rainfall there has done little to reverse the trend. There’s a meager chance of showers and thunderstorms for the area this weekend.

About 81% of the state’s corn crop is rated good or excellent, a percentage that is unchanged from last week. About 78% of soybeans have the same favorable ratings, a reduction of 1% from last week’s report.

This is a critical period of time for crop development that requires a lot of water. In lieu of new rainfall, the plants will rely on topsoil and subsoil moisture to subsist, and that moisture varies widely because of uneven rainfall for the state this year. About 95% of the soil of northeast Iowa has adequate or surplus moisture, whereas only about 40% of northwest Iowa does, the USDA report said.

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Jared Strong
Jared Strong

Senior reporter Jared Strong has written about Iowans and the important issues that affect them for more than 15 years, previously for the Carroll Times Herald and the Des Moines Register. His investigative work exposing police misconduct has notched several state and national awards. He is a longtime trustee of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, which fights for open records and open government. He is a lifelong Iowan and has lived mostly in rural western parts of the state.

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