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Drought Monitor: Area Of Extreme Drought Creeping Into Iowa


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Northwest Iowa — The latest crop report still shows good progress in much of the state, but the dry conditions are becoming more of a concern, especially in the Sioux City and Le Mars areas.

In the latest report, statewide topsoil moisture conditions rated 3 percent very short, 17 percent short, 74 percent adequate, and 6 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture conditions rated 4 percent very short, 19 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus.

Corn condition rating was 83 percent good to excellent. Ninety-three percent of soybeans have emerged, 6 days behind last year but 3 days ahead of average. Iowa’s soybean condition rating was 80 percent good to excellent. Sixty-two percent of the oat crop has headed, 3 days behind last year. Iowa’s oat condition remained at 82 percent good to excellent.

In northwest Iowa specifically, topsoil moisture was 20 percent very short, 33 percent short, 45 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus, while subsoil moisture was rated 18 percent very short, 29 percent short, 50 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus.

According to the US Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, the conditions vary in northwest Iowa. It says that over the last week, an area of extreme drought has crept into the area just south of us and straddles the rivers in the Sioux City area into both extreme southeast South Dakota and extreme northeast Nebraska, covering much of Plymouth County and nearly the northwest half of Woodbury County. The area is bordered by an area of what is termed “severe drought,” which along with other areas, covers about the southern half of Sioux and O’Brien counties and all of Cherokee County. A little further north, roughly the northern halves of Sioux and O’Brien counties are in moderate drought. About half of Osceola County and the southeast half of Lyon County are only “abnormally dry,” with the remaining parts of those counties not under drought conditions at all.