Several things happened the week of June 19 in Iowa, some good and some bad. Summer arrived, it rained too much some places, it didn't rain enough other places, and there were a few local areas with hail damage. In total, we have received enough heat that we are now slightly above long-term average seasonal heat accumulations in the southern two-thirds of Iowa.
The keys to economic loss from flooding are the duration of inundation (shorter times are better), the temperature of the floodwater (cooler is better), crop species (soybeans tolerate flooding more than corn in general), and the crop growth stage (younger crops are more damaged in general than older.) Remember that fields that were flooded suffer more from subsequent stresses, and that, if possible, cultivation when the ground is dry again may help encourage aeration to reduce those stresses.
Accumulated Base: 50° F Degree Days May 1 through June 26, 2005. Accumulated degree days on top; departure from average below.
This article originally appeared on page 134 of the IC-494(16) -- June 27, 2005 issue.