Iowa farmers are enjoying a warm and dry autumn and harvest is ahead of schedule. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says it’s hard to say when we’ll get the rain needed to replenish soil moisture for next year’s growing season. We’re in a neutral phase with neither an El Nino nor a La Nina, and the forecaster says those are the two best weather predictors for the state of Iowa. That leaves meteorologists without broad clues for a long-range forecast. One thing’s certain, though — Hillaker says we’d better get rain before winter freezes the soil. The winter’s typically the driest season of the year in Iowa, and any rain or snow that DOES fall during winter can’t get into the ground. It’s not hurting crops to have low soil moisture right now, but Hillaker says it’ll be a problem if it’s not re-charged by planting season.
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