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Hit-or-miss corn crop
The effect of the drought in north-central Iowa appeared to be hit-or-miss in its severity, I noticed on a recent drive across the backroads of Wright County. Here, corn stands roughly eight feet tall, with some curling of the leaves. This would prove to be one of the most healthy-looking stands of the day.
Here's a close up of the ear development and leaf curling in the same stand.
Driving north through the county, which USDA's U.S. Drought Monitor currently shows as "Severe," fields of mostly green stalks were occasionally tinged with brown.
From above, you can see the variance in the same field. Roughy thirty feet away, corn is two-feet taller with a deeper green color.
From below, the soil is as dry as powder, and leaves have all but dried up.
In a field nearby, the parched corn stood only thigh-high.
The soil in that same field was so dry, the ground was cracked about everywhere I looked.
Surrounded by a field of healthy-looking soybeans, this patch of yellow shows that crop's need for rain, too. One local farmer explained that many in the area grow corn-on-corn, so their success depends only on this year's corn crop.
But it wasn't all doom and gloom out on the road. I stopped and watched this plane dust a corn field for a few minutes and was reminded that despite the circumstances, grace and beauty can always be found on the backroads.
Drought severity hit or miss in north central Iowa.