Home 5 Ag Stories Iowa’s climate is becoming warmer and wetter

Iowa’s climate is becoming warmer and wetter

Over the last several years, the state has seen increased rain events during untypical times of the year. This can cost farmers lots of money if they are unprepared. A USDA climatologist says farmers better be ready to adapt because the increase in rain will only continue.

Dennis Todey is director of the USDA Midwest Climate Hub.

“If we look back over the last few decades or even in the last century, we are seeing more precipitation. More of that precipitation is occurring in larger events, heavier rainfall events, and different times of the season. Which is causing some issues.”

Todey says additional rain is not all that bad for some.

“The additional precipitation is a good thing because it has allowed expansion of corn and soybeans into north and western areas because there is just more moisture available. It has been a more of a downside in some places because of additional rainfall and times of the year where we are having to introduce more drainage and more water management because of the excess precipitation we are trying to move off.”

He says data shows temperatures rising too.

“We are seeing warming temperatures overall. More of it has been during our cold season during the winter much like this season where we have had overall warming temperatures. But even during the growing season we have had warmer temperatures and although it doesn’t seem like it, in a lot of cases because our warming has occurred in overnight lows. Our minimum temperatures are getting much higher where daytime highs are relatively flat.”

Todey adds that is a problem for corn because it will develop too quickly causing yield loss.