WIUM Tristates Public Radio

SE Iowa Farmers Looking for Rain

Jul 17, 2013

This spring's heavy rainfall delayed some farmers, caused some to have to replant their crops, and others to have to take prevented planting insurance.

Now some Southeast Iowa farmers are actually beginning to be concerned about too little rainfall.

For the time period between June first through the 17th of July,  the National Weather Service Station at Burlington should have received 6.73 inches of rain. They actually received 2.42 inches.

Crops may start to show moisture stress in the coming days and weeks. (Taken before crops started showing stress and before they tasseled.)
Credit SSS

Field Agronomist for Southeast Iowa with Iowa State University Extension, Virgil Schmitt, said until now most of the fields that have been affected are those with course or compacted soil,  but now fields with higher quality ground are starting to be affected.

"People are saying, 'Gosh, I hope it rains pretty soon' they are not saying we need to have a rain in two days or its going to be a disaster, but people are starting to get nervous. I'm starting to get a little bit nervous too," Schmitt said.

Schmitt added that July and August are usually drier months and farmers rely on June, which is usually the wettest month, to provide them with enough moisture.

He also said the high humidity SE Iowa has experienced has helped crops cope somewhat with the high temperatures.