DES MOINES, Iowa – For the most part, crop conditions are unchanged from last week. So is the dry weather pattern over much of the state.
Corn and soybean prices Tuesday felt some downward pressure due to cooler, wetter weather in the forecast for the Corn Belt. But here in Iowa, precipitation is lagging behind.
Normal rainfall for last week would have been about one inch across the state. Instead, statewide precipitation was measured at about six tenths of one inch. The week ending July 20th was even worse for rainfall, with recorded precipitation at 0.03 inches statewide, whereas more normal conditions would have been about 1.02 inches.
And yet, crop conditions have remained very good. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says a major factor is the significant rainfall statewide in June.
“The flooding in northwest Iowa pretty much started June 14th or so; well into the month,” says Hillaker, “and then eastern Iowa, the last day of the month was the worst: June 30th. So, not that long ago we had a lot of rain, and that was very widespread; every single reporting point in Iowa was above normal rainfall for June, which doesn’t happen very often in the summertime. But [there was] a lot of rain, a lot of subsoil moisture recharge occurring then, and that’s what’s getting us by right now.”
Crop conditions so far have remained near 75 percent good to excellent on corn and soybeans, and crop development on both is well ahead of the five-year average. But Hillaker says the dry pattern doesn’t look like it will let up anytime soon. He says that, for the next two weeks, it’s much the same weather patten, “which would be mostly on the dry side, and mostly on the cool side of normal. And pretty high odds on both of those, especially on the temperature end of things. So for the most part, not much change from what much of the rest of the July has already been like. And the next prospect for really much rain of any consequence at all might be late this weekend and even then, it doesn’t look like a whole lot of rain.”
Of course, temperatures will also be cool during that period, allowing crops to make the most of available topsoil and subsoil moisture.
Click on the audio player at the top of this page to hear more about what’s in store for this year’s corn and soybean crop.