By Jared Strong (Iowa Capital Dispatch)
Last week was very dry in Iowa, with the northwest quadrant of the state having little or no rain, according to the state’s weekly weather summary.
Yet, soybean conditions improved and corn was unchanged from a week ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Tuesday. Corn and soybeans were both rated 66% good or excellent in that report, a 3-percentage-point increase for beans.
The state averaged about a quarter inch of rain, which is less than a third of what is normally expected. The heaviest rainfall last week was in an area that is already sufficiently wet: More than 2 inches fell in far eastern Iowa.
The state also averaged about 1.4 degrees above normal temperatures. The trend of higher temperatures and lower rainfall amounts is expected to continue this fall.
The state as a whole is the driest it has been all year, according to a recent U.S. Drought Monitor report. An updated report that takes the arid past week into consideration is due Thursday.
Southeast Iowa currently has the driest soil, the USDA report said. Less than 20% of topsoil and subsoil in that region have adequate moisture for crops. In northeast Iowa, more than 85% of soil has adequate or surplus moisture.