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How is drought affecting crop progress in Iowa?

Dry conditions intensified in Iowa as temperatures soared over the last week. Temperatures in the high 80s to 90s were recorded across the state in the first week of June.

“After a relatively cool end to May, above-average temperatures arrived at the end of last week, which will help push the crops along,” said Iowa secretary of agriculture Mike Naig on Monday. “The forecast shows warm temperatures and limited chances of rain so we’re continuing to keep a close eye on the drought conditions.”

The June 8 drought map indicates about 10% of the state is suffering from severe drought. Rainfall in this 14-county area of northwest Iowa has been 3 to 4 inches less rain below average so far this growing season. No precipitation has been reported in the area since the Tuesday data cut off for the drought report, according to the Iowa Environmental Mesonet.

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

About 47% of the state reported moderate drought, up from 29% the week prior. Abnormally dry conditions cover about 32% of the state. In total, just 11% of the state is free of drought conditions.

With minimal rain across the state, the latest Crop Progress Report indicated 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork in the Hawkeye state last week.

Map of Iowa precipitation
Photo credit: Iowa Environmental Mesonet

Topsoil moisture levels were rated 7% very short, 32% short, 59% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 12% very short, 34% short, 53% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture conditions in northwest, west central, central, and south-central Iowa were rated over 50% short to very short.

Iowa Corn Progress

Monday’s Crop Progress Report said 96% of corn in the state had emerged, above the 89% five-year average. The corn crop was rated 17% excellent, 60% good, 20% fair, 2% poor, and 1% very poor.

Iowa Soybean Progress

Iowa farmers have planted 98% of their soybeans, pacing ahead of both last year and the five-year average. Soybean emergence was pegged at 86%.

The Iowa soybean crop was rated 15% excellent, 58% good, 23% fair, 3% poor, 1% very poor.

Iowa Oats Progress

All of Iowa’s oat crop has emerged, said the June 7 Crop Progress Report. Heading is ahead of the five-year average at 37%.

The Iowa oat crop was rated 14% excellent, 54% good, 29% fair, 2% poor, 1% very poor.

Iowa Pasture and Range

Iowa pasture and range conditions were rated 42% good, 32% fair, 12% poor, 3% very poor in the June 7 Crop Progress Report.
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