DES MOINES, Iowa -- Weeks of abnormally dry weather is starting to take a toll on Iowa's biggest industry.
"The dryness is definitely starting to impact the crop. Corn, in particular, is using a lot of moisture out of the ground, especially when you couple the dryness with high temperatures. We're approaching a challenge for crops widespread across the state of Iowa" says Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig.
He says drought conditions affecting nearly 90 percent of Iowa right now are different from the abnormally dry conditions the state saw last year.
"We came into last year with the tank full, so to speak--we had moisture in the soil profile. This year we just don't have that reservoir to rely on," Naig says.
He says the federal government has been made aware to drought conditions affecting much of the Midwest.
"There can be some things in terms of opening up CRP for grazing for livestock producers. And, certainly if the situation warrants it we'll start to think about what does some disaster assistance look like. But, it's early enough in the season--we can still be hopeful we'll see that widespread rain," Naig says.
The new Weekly Crop Report from the USDA says 70 percent of Iowa's topsoil moisture is rated short to very short, compared to around 40 percent last week. Dig deeper and you'll find 70 percent of subsoil moisture is also short to very short.