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Drought worries southern Iowa farmersDrought worries southern Iowa farmers

Aug. 9 meetings in Keosauqua and Centerville will focus on how to deal with the drought.

Rod Swoboda 1

August 7, 2018

2 Min Read
TOO DRY: Drought concerns for both crop and livestock producers will be discussed at meetings in two southern Iowa counties this week.

While flooding and too much rain has been the problem in other areas of Iowa this summer, drought has persisted in south-central Iowa. Along the Iowa-Missouri border, the counties of Davis, Van Buren and Appanoose have been particularly hard-hit, receiving little rain in June and July. Wapello County is also having a dry summer.

Iowa State University Extension will host two meetings on Aug. 9 to discuss drought conditions that are causing concerns for both crop and livestock producers.

The first meeting will take place in Van Buren County at 1:30 p.m. at the Roberts Memorial Building at 20497 Highway 1 in Keosauqua. The second will be in Appanoose County at 6:30 p.m. at the Rathbun Regional Water Association Treatment Plant at 16166 Hwy. J29 in Centerville.

Producers affected
The meetings will be hosted by ISU Extension’s Josh Michel, field agronomist; Joe Sellers, beef specialist; Patrick Wall, beef specialist; and Charles Brown, farm management specialist. Topics to be discussed during the meetings include crop growth and development under drought conditions, feeding drought-damaged crops, silage and crop insurance considerations.

CORN FIRING:  A noticeable sign that drought is getting severe is when leaves on cornstalks start turning brown and dying.

Weather patterns and drought monitor considerations will also be discussed. Representatives from USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service will be present to share information on assistance available through their offices.

Test cornstalks for nitrates
“The meetings are free and open to the public and are expected to last approximately 90 minutes,” Michel says. “Starting 45 minutes before the meeting, producers may bring five representative cornstalk samples for a quick nitrate assessment to be conducted either before or after the meeting, depending on time available.”

Some farmers want to chop their droughty corn and make silage, but you must be cautious about high levels of stalk nitrate that can cause sickness in cattle that are fed high-nitrate silage. For information on this topic and other management suggestions when dealing with drought, visit ISU Extension.  

Answers to crop insurance questions
ISU’s Charles Brown has updated the ISU Extension publication Crop Insurance Coverage in Times of Drought or Floods — FAQs.

This week's U-S Drought Monitor shows an increasing area of southern Iowa being abnormally dry or in drought conditions.

The report shows all or parts of about 31 counties in Iowa impacted, in southern, southeast, and parts of east-central Iowa, including Johnson and parts of Linn counties, and tracking east to the Mississippi River.

Davis County in southeast Iowa has experienced drought conditions for the last several years. Most of Davis County this summer has been in extreme drought.  

About the Author(s)

Rod Swoboda 1

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Rod, who has been a member of the editorial staff of Wallaces Farmer magazine since 1976, was appointed editor of the magazine in April 2003. He is widely recognized around the state, especially for his articles on crop production and soil conservation topics, and has won several writing awards, in addition to honors from farm, commodity and conservation organizations.

"As only the tenth person to hold the position of Wallaces Farmer editor in the past 100 years, I take seriously my responsibility to provide readers with timely articles useful to them in their farming operations," Rod says.

Raised on a farm that is still owned and operated by his family, Rod enjoys writing and interviewing farmers and others involved in agriculture, as well as planning and editing the magazine. You can also find Rod at other Farm Progress Company activities where he has responsibilities associated with the magazine, including hosting the Farm Progress Show, Farm Progress Hay Expo and the Iowa Master Farmer program.

A University of Illinois grad with a Bachelors of Science degree in agriculture (ag journalism major), Rod joined Wallaces Farmer after working several years in Washington D.C. as a writer for Farm Business Incorporated.

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