OTTUMWA — This week will continue the wet pattern that began last week, a mixed blessing for farmers.
The area needs rain, and there is at least a 30 percent chance of it every day through Thursday. That's good, since the moisture isn't expected to fall in heavy downpours and should have a chance to soak into the ground.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that soil moisture remained a concern even as eastern Iowa began emerging from drought conditions. A new report will be released later today and experts say it should show improved conditions.
The bad news is that rains will likely push back planting, already delayed by the late start to spring. Planting is well behind the rolling five-year average, and even further behind last year's fast start to the season.