The statewide weekend forecast includes a break from the heat, but only slight chances of rain. The lack of precipitation is troubling to many farmers.

Steve Kennedy, executive director of the Jasper County Farm Service Agency, says much of the state’s corn, soybean and other crops are overdue for a good soaking. “I think everybody would love to see a good one or two inch rain come our way,” Kennedy said. “We welcome the little bit cooler temperatures, but we really do need that rain. I know there’s some cracks showing up in the fields now.” Those cracks in the soil indicate things are turning very dry.

There have been some heavy downpours in recent weeks, but they’ve been over small areas of the state. Some sections of Iowa have gone weeks without a drop of rain and high temperatures in the upper 90s. “I think the crops are still in pretty good shape. We had some pretty good subsoil moisture going into this period,” Kennedy said. “But, I think we’re hitting a stretch now where we’re really going to need some rain fairly soon, otherwise we might see yield reduction starting to hit here.”

This week’s crop report from the USDA showed 75-percent of Iowa’s corn is in good to excellent condition. The same is true for soybeans.

by Randy Van, KCOB