The traditional dog days of summer roughly range from July 4 through about August 10. Although they were named for the time when the dog star, Sirius, rose with the sun, dog days for us is the time when row crops are pollinating and the first half of grain fill.
The week starting July 10 was about average in degree day accumulation, and especially in the southern two-thirds of Iowa, some welcome rain fell. Moisture remains a concern, but the week's rainfall coincided with pollination, which is a very good thing. The Iowa growing season rainfall remains 3 or more inches behind normal but in most areas, so far, so good.
Rich Pope is an extension program specialist in entomology with responsibilities in integrated pest management.
May 1 through July 16, 2006 Accumulated Base: 50 °F Degree Days
This article originally appeared on page 208 of the IC-496(20) -- July 17, 2006 issue.