Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
DES MOINES — Decreased rain across the state left Iowans with 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending July 31, according to the latest Crop Progress and Condition report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Increasingly dry conditions are a concern for many,” the report said. “Lack of rain stressed pastures and livestock last week.”
The drop in precipitation brought drought conditions to several Southeast Iowa counties. Parts of Washington, Jefferson, Henry, Keokuk and Wapello counties were experiencing “moderate drought” conditions as of July 28, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly report coordinated by the USDA, NOAA, and National Drought Mitigation Center.
It’s not the only corner of the state in need of rain, as the northwest region continues its own ongoing drought.
“Unseasonably dry conditions persisted across Iowa as drought intensified in the state’s northwest corner,” said Iowa Department of Agriculture State Climatologist Justin Glisan in the week’s preliminary weather summary. “Rainfall deficits of over an inch were reported in south-central Iowa while near-normal conditions were observed in pockets of western Iowa.”
The trend is visible in the Crop Progress Report’s data, with 49% of the state reporting short or very short topsoil moisture conditions, and 46% reporting short or very short subsoil moisture conditions. The numbers are up from 38% and 36%, respectively, reported the week prior.
For the moment, crop progress continues to move along more or less normally. Statewide, 76% of corn crops are in good to excellent condition, as were 73% of soybeans. All metrics of growth showed the row crops within a week of last year’s progress, although oats were reported turning 8 days behind last year.