Iowa crop conditions decline amid persistent dryness

Iowa crop conditions
Soybeans have shown signs of stress from unrelenting heat and dryness. (CREDIT JARED STRONG/IOWA CAPITAL DISPATCH)

The Iowa corn and soybean crop conditions suffered further last week from a relative lack of rainfall, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Tuesday.

Iowa’s corn crop is rated 59% good or excellent, which is down from 70% the week before.

Soybeans are rated 56% good or excellent, down from 66%.

Weekend storms brought significant precipitation to parts of central and northwest Iowa, but the statewide average for last week was about half of what is normally expected.

Iowa crop conditions are similar to what they were this time of year in 2021, which ended up being a banner year for yields because of timely rainfall.

But: “While scattered storms are possible this weekend, the official start to summer this week will coincide with a stretch of hot and dry days,” Mike Naig, the state’s agriculture secretary, said Tuesday.

That would be different from 2021, when massive rainfall fell over large areas of the state. Up to 8 inches of rain was reported.

Only 30% of the state’s topsoil has adequate moisture for growing crops. That is down from 70% a month ago. More than two-thirds of the state is suffering from some degree of drought, according to a U.S. Drought Monitor report last week.

“Longer term outlooks are showing a return to near-normal rainfall as we enter a critical period for crop growth,” Mr. Naig said.

Originally published by the Iowa Capital Dispatch. Republished with permission.