In Iowa: Dry weather this June could bring drought to the state of Iowa
“It’s likely we will go from May 29 through June 13 with only 0.02 inches rain,” KCRG-TV9 meteorologist Justin Gehrts wrote Thursday in The Gazette.
Only once since 1892 has the Cedar Rapids metro area recorded a drier early June, he said.
Following a windy weekend with hot temperatures, the lack of June rain will become more obvious this week.
Farmers, those most susceptible to the vagaries of weather, will perceive in it the potential for reduced yields.
In the 2012 drought, still fresh in most Iowans’ memories, the state’s average corn and soybean yields fell, respectively, to 137 bushels and 44.5 bushels per acre — a reduction of 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively, from the average yields of the preceding four years.
Rising grain prices during the growing season, combined with federal crop insurance, cushioned the blow for most grain farmers, while livestock producers, for whom federal insurance was not available, suffered with hay and pasture shortages and increased costs for their principal input.
As the drought wore on, we all became increasingly irritable, waiting for relief from torrid July heat and a refreshing of the parched landscape.
While I would never wish for a drought, I prefer my summer weather a little on the dry side.
Farmers will recall 2016, with abundant rains falling before anyone noticed they were needed, as a year of record corn and soybean crops — a year of perfect weather, many of them would say.
It’s not there yet, as I write this, but it is falling steadily toward that level and will likely reach it this week.