Iowa Faces Severe Drought

On the heels of a major crop boom last growing season, Iowa is currently facing one of the driest springs in recent history.

Last summer farmers across the country experienced a string of bad weather. In Iowa and the rest of the Midwest, an unusually wet spring prevented crop planting and delayed harvest. In addition, an unusually hot summer worried many farmers.

Despite this poor weather, farmers still managed to raise 200 bushel-per-acre corn crops and 25 bushel-per-acre soybean crops. The corn crop in particular was a major boon to farmers who were able to take advantage of ethanol demand.

However, the days of big harvests may be over, farm experts say. In Iowa, typically wet falls (particularly October and November) make up for hot summers and replenish the state’s dry soil. This fall, however, has been the driest in 35 years, with the hardest hit regions being the northwest, the state’s largest corn producer.

According to some farmers, the state will need about 8-10 inches of rain in order to recover for the spring harvest. According to climatologists, if current weather patterns continue, the state is unlikely to receive enough rain for harvest time. Despite this gloomy forecast, some experts believe that after the spring soil thaw, the state could still get enough moisture to protect spring crops.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer