The dog days of summer

Accumulated base: 50 F degree days and departure from normal-May 1 through July 29, 2007.Accumulated base: 50 F degree days and departure from normal-May 1 through July 29, 2007.

The third week of July produced slightly above average temperatures in the northwest two-thirds of Iowa, with southeast Iowa right on average. We are now entering the second part of the traditional dog days of summer, a period from July 3 to about August 11. It is named for the astronomical pairing of the sun with the dog star, Sirius, the brightest star in the northern hemisphere. Ancients thought the dog star added to the heat of the sun and attributed the star with oppressive summer heat.

Crops are progressing, but particularly in dry areas, soybeans have been slow to fill rows (if they have) and corn has now pollinated for the most part. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, any rain would be welcome nearly anywhere in the Iowa.

Rich Pope is an extension program specialist working with the Iowa State University Corn and Soybean Initiative.

This article originally appeared on page 246 of the IC-498(21) -- July 30, 2007 issue.

Updated 08/01/2007 - 9:03am