As expected, a large portion of eastern Iowa is now experiencing a severe drought. This is the area of darkest brown covering the Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Dubuque and Iowa City area. This area has seen next to no rain in weeks.
Conditions are only getting worse as our warmer than normal summer marches on, and with the lack of widespread mature corn, the amount of available moisture is only getting lower by the day. With the severe drought classification, farmers can begin preparing for the eventual impact this will have on their crops and the insurance claims it could lead to.
As for the rest of the state, the lighter shade of brown indicates areas now under a moderate drought. Areas in yellow are reported to be abnormally dry. All in all, a bad situation that continues to get worse, and threatens to rival the great Drought of 1988. Losses could be staggering if rain doesn’t come and soon. There is some rain forecast. But if the heat remains, a few tenths here and there will do next to no good.
This is also no longer a farm problem alone. Along with severely dry lawns, some communities are beginning to ask residents to limit their water usage in an effort to prevent bigger problems. If the water situation worsens, mandatory water restrictions could go into effect.
We’ll continue to track the progress of the drought, and bring you an update this weekend when drought forecasts are updated.