The first significant rainfall in more than a month dropped about a half-inch across most of the state, but the storm itself won’t lift Iowa out of its most serious drought since the 1950s, experts said Thursday.
“The rainfall and cooling afterward may cause this month to fall short of July 1936 as the hottest July in history, but it won’t end the drought,” said Des Moines meteorologist Harvey Freese.
Iowa was more than three inches short of normal July rain totals of 3.6 inches when the thunder began to rumble late Wednesday afternoon over western Iowa. By Thursday morning, the storm had doused some parts of the state with more than an inch of precipitation.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map, which reflects conditions through 6 a.m. Tuesday, indicated all of Iowa was in a “severe drought” and about half of eastern Iowa in “extreme drought.”
Iowa and the Midwest Corn Belt are at the epicenter of a drought that now covers more than three-quarters of the U.S., the report shows.
Against that shortfall, accumulations of less than an inch of rain were disappointing, said Garrett Toay, a Des Moines commodity trader.
Iowa State University Extension Agronomist Roger Elmore said “most of the state got a quarter- to half-inch of rain. We lose the equivalent of a quarter- inch of moisture every warm, sunny day.”
The rain may be too late to improve Iowa’s corn crop, but soybeans should benefit...
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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