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Iowa farmer seeing effects of persistent hot, dry weather

Another dry week across Iowa stressed crops but did allow farmers to spray for weeds, side-dress nitrogen, and harvest hay.

The latest crop report from USDA says topsoil moisture levels went from under 40 percent short to very short to 70 percent short to very short during the past week.

North Iowa farmer Chris Edgington of Saint Ansgar says he uses climate technology that’s telling him he’s four to five inches short on moisture since early April.

“So these days that are in the 90’s, especially with the corn on lighter soil, you can see it roll up. So it’s definitely having an effect.”

He tells Brownfield his area has moved into the D2 drought category.

“Which is as far as I want to get, I would like Mother Nature to give me some water.”

Edgington is first vice president of the National Corn Growers Association.

 The corn condition rating fell 14 percentage points during the week to 63 percent good to excellent.

For soybeans, emergence is nine days ahead of normal with 61 percent of the crop considered good to excellent, a drop of 12 percentage points from Sunday to Sunday.

The first cutting of alfalfa hay reached 87 percent complete, six days ahead of the five-year average.

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