Weekend rains gave a much needed reprieve to parched southern Iowa crops. Ray Jenkins, a corn merchant for Cargill in Ottumwa, says some people call them “million dollar” rains, but that may be an understatement.
“I think for a lot of people, it may have been quite a bit more than a million dollar rain. With these temperatures in the mid-to-upper 90s, and this kind of wind, it takes a lot of moisture. But an area in far south-central and southern Iowa that had been lagging in moisture accumulation over the last 30-to-40 days, picked up some really nice amounts from one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half inches –so I’ve spoken with some producers down there today and they feel pretty good right now,” Jenkins says.
He says the rains were not enough to stop Monday’s corn market prices from moving higher because the stage of growth that demands lots of moisture. Jenkins says, “So the trade is very respective of the fact that the southern half of Illinois, Indiana, and a variety of other places, have been severely short-changed on moisture as we head into a critical time period of tasseling, pollination and heavy water use.”
The extreme heat and wind we’re experiencing in Iowa today could quickly erase the benefits of the weekend rains. “So many of these areas have been living on…let’s call it…small rain event to small rain event…to get to this point in time…the crop has looked reasonably well, but with this kind of heat coming at us, it won’t take long for a lot of this crop to start going backwards,” according to Jenkins.
The U.S.D.A crop report is due out later today.