Cooler, more seasonable weather is in Iowa’s forecast this week as last week’s extreme high temperatures in the upper 90s are giving way to the 80s and even the upper 70s. Iowa’s crops appear to have weathered the triple-digit heat indices well, according to Brad Rippey, a meteorologist with the U.S.D.A.
“It looks like the Midwest goes right back to nearly ideal temperatures,” Rippey says. “Just a little blip in this path towards what has been a pretty good crop year overall for corn and soybeans.” There’s been fairly timely rain across much of the state throughout the growing season, he says, so there should not be fears of a crop disaster. Rippey adds, last week’s heat wave can’t be blamed on the La Nina weather pattern because it hasn’t really formed yet.
“Years that we see El Nino quickly die out in the spring or early summer, it’s quite common to see mid- to late summer heat and that certainly seems to be the case,” Rippey says. “We got through the early part of the summer without extreme heat. Now, we’re looking at an expansion of heat but again, it doesn’t look like a major, summer-long event here for the Midwest.”
Looking back, Rippey says there have been three recent heat waves where crops in the region did very well: 2000, 2004 and 2014.”All three of those turned out to be reasonably good overall crop years for corn,” Rippey says. “2014, that is the existing all-time record corn yield, 171 bushels per acre.” As rain moves in late on Wednesday and into Thursday, forecasters say parts of Iowa may see highs only in the upper-70s by the end of this week.
By Karla James.