The Ottumwa Courier

October 1, 2013

Rain has limited crop impacts

Ottumwa Courier

DES MOINES — The U.S. Department of Agriculture may be shut down, but the report on crop conditions slipped through Monday under the shutdown wire.

The report indicates Iowa needs a lot more rain to get back to normal. Topsoil moisture was 77 percent short or very short statewide. Subsoil moisture was worse, because it takes time for the moisture to seep down, at 81 percent short or very short.

As expected, southeast Iowa continues to be the driest part of the state. A whopping 97 percent of topsoil is short or very short of moisture.

The rain did appear to improve corn conditions slightly. Thirty-two percent of the crop rates as good and another 36 percent rates as fair. Harvest has begun, but officials said it is not far along.

As with corn, soybeans showed slight improvement, with 67 percent of the crop rated as fair or good.

While Iowa got rain, it was uneven. Some places barely got a sprinkle, while Hastings received 4.85 inches on the week. State climatologist Harry Hillaker said it was the wettest week in 12 weeks. More rain fell statewide last Thursday than any day since June 24.