It seems all the flooding from this Spring is but a distant memory. An unusually dry summer has slipped much of Iowa back into drought conditions. If you take a look at the graphic above, areas shaded in yellow are experiencing abnormally dry conditions, while areas shaded in brown are reporting moderate drought conditions.
This is a bad sign, and one many farmers were hoping not to repeat after last year’s extreme drought. But the weather pattern is not changing. Active stretches have featured thunderstorms that produce locally heavy rainfall, but no region-wide soakers that are sorely needed right now.
Most parts of Iowa are several inches below normal for this time of year, and with each passing day that deficit is growing. The impacts on this year’s crop remains unknown, although many farmers had already prepared for diminished yields with difficult conditions nearly throughout the entire growing season.
Bottom line, Iowa’s extreme patterns continue, making it harder and harder to plan for what lies ahead. One thing is clear, Iowa needs rain. Although not as severe as last year, persistent streaks of drought conditions could have a devastating impact not only on farmers, but the state’s economy as a whole. Something we’ll be closely monitoring in the weeks, months and years ahead.