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Iowa crop conditions were steady heading into a very hot week

by Jared Strong

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° F. in Sioux City on Thursday and Friday.

Map of Iowa drought conditions
Photo credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

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.

Iowa Capital Dispatch is part of the States Newsroom, a network of similar news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity.

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