After too much rain and flooded fields in some areas of the state earlier in the 2018 growing season, Iowa is now seeing drought continuing to plague some other counties. The flooding took a toll on crops mainly in areas of northern Iowa, while drought is centered in south-central and parts of southeast Iowa.
Tornadoes struck and did major damage to Marshalltown, Pella and Bondurant on July 19. Luckily, no one was killed although there were some injuries and many damaged buildings. The National Weather Service says a total of 27 tornadoes struck Iowa that day, damaging crops and trees.
BE CAREFUL: Farmers should be cautious feeding drought-stressed corn as silage because of nitrate toxicity.
Counties in south-central Iowa are under a moderate drought with some areas now under a severe drought. The drought conditions are causing major concerns for both crop and livestock producers. To help address those concerns and provide information, Iowa State University Extension will host a free drought meeting for farmers and anyone else who is interested in attending. It will be 6 p.m. July 26 at the Davis County fairgrounds in Bloomfield.
Farmers can get questions answered
Topics and speakers include crop growth and development under drought conditions covered by Josh Michel, ISU Extension field agronomist. Joe Sellers, Extension beef specialist, will discuss feeding drought damaged crops, including issues with drought silage. Extension farm management specialist Charles Brown will have information available on crop insurance considerations. The state climatologist for Iowa, Justin Glisan, will present information on weather patterns, future weather outlook and drought monitor considerations.
Also, USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service county representatives will share information on drought programs their offices can offer if a county reaches the eligibility requirements. Crop insurance providers will also be present to answer questions.
Bring cornstalk samples for nitrate test
No preregistration is required, and the meeting is expected to last about 90 minutes. About 45 minutes before the meeting, producers can bring five representative cornstalk samples for a quick nitrate assessment before the meeting starts or after the meeting, depending upon time.
Davis County fairgrounds is at 20471 Old Highway 2 in Bloomfield. If you have questions about the meeting, contact Davis County Extension office at 641-664-2730. The meeting is being sponsored by Davis County Cattlemen’s Association and the contact is Cory Fleming at 641-328-4106.
For questions about drought management, you can contact ISU crop specialist Josh Michel at 563-581-7828 or email@example.com; livestock specialist Joe Sellers at 641-203-1270 or firstname.lastname@example.org; and farm management specialist Charles Brown at 515-240-9214 or email@example.com. The ISU Extension Dealing With Drought webpage has additional drought related articles and publications.