The first week of July brought temperatures slightly above long-term averages, particularly in northwest and west-central Iowa. Unfortunately, these are exactly the parts of the state where moisture shortages are becoming a bit of a concern. As always, conditions can vary greatly within a local area, depending on soils and where and when the rain falls.
Thankfully, Iowa farmers in most places started the growing season with ample soil moisture reserves. As the month progresses, rain stress, especially if it is exacerbated by above-average temperatures, will be a continuing concern.
Rich Pope is an extension program specialist working with the Iowa State University Corn and Soybean Initiative.
This article originally appeared on page 224 of the IC-498(18) -- July 9, 2007 issue.