Drought Spreads in Iowa


From the Des Moines Register

By Lynn Hicks

Drought is roaring back in Iowa after a hot, dry week.

Nearly a quarter of the state is in severe drought, compared with none last week, a report out today shows.

The U.S. Drought Monitor says all of Iowa is at least abnormally dry, compared with 82 percent last week. 60 percent is in moderate drought and 22.4 percent is in severe drought.

One year ago, the entire state was in severe drought.

The heat comes at a critical time in the development of Iowa’s corn and soybean crop. A USDA report on Monday said the corn crop is two weeks behind normal. Corn’s condition declined from the previous week and was rated at 6 percent very poor, 15 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 37 percent good and 7 percent excellent.

Soybeans are blooming and also behind. Soybeans’ condition declined slightly from last week and was rated 6 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 37 percent good and 8 percent excellent, the USDA report said.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.