Drought conditions across Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Drought conditions across Iowa

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BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) -

The U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday shows 31 percent of Iowa in drought conditions. Last week, that number was only thirteen percent. State climatologist, Harry Hillaker, says certain areas are worse than other.

"The area with the biggest concern right now is in parts of east central Iowa, roughly south of Highway 20 say south of the Waterloo/Dubuque area and north of I-80," said Hillaker.

Scott Beenken has seen the effects the hot, dry weather has on his crops.

"With the hot, dry winds we've had early this week, we definitely had some stress conditions and seeing the corn roll and protect it's self and the soybean were even seeing a little bit of wilt," said Beenken.

Beenken says his farm received just 0.44" of rainfall Wednesday. He says that every little bit helps but July through August is the most important time for crop development.

"Extreme heat and extreme dry spells real bad problems for the pollination times," said Beenken.

Ideal conditions would be an inch of rain per week and cool conditions according to Beenken. And for Beenken, he thinks his crops are handling the current conditions well.

"We're not in a dire situation just yet. It's more of getting timely rains and we've got good soil in this area that can carry water when we need it to," Beenken said.

It may be too soon to tell if crop yields will be affected by current drought conditions, but one thing is for sure. We still need rain.

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