The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

August 30, 2013

Dry spell brings back worries

DES MOINES — A growing season that began unusually wet and cold in the Midwest is finishing hot and dry, renewing worries of drought and the impact it may have on crops.

Temperatures soared to records in recent days in parts of the region, reaching nearly 100 degrees in some areas. The heat wave struck many farm states — from the Dakotas to Wisconsin, down to Missouri — that have seen too little rain this growing season

“It’s about the worst case scenario we could have with these high temperatures and the lack of water with soil moisture declining,” said Roger Elmore, an agronomy professor at Iowa State University.

A wet, cool spring delayed planting and slowed crop growth — but it also replenished soil moisture in many crop producing states, causing some of last year’s widespread drought to retreat. The rain stopped in July in many of those states, however, and as the soil dried out, the heat set in and stressed corn and soybean crops.

Corn and soybeans have developed enough that weather conditions are not likely to reduce the number of kernels on the corn cob or the seeds in soybean pods. But those kernels and seeds could develop smaller and weigh less, which could reduce the harvest this fall, Elmore said.

Lack of rain has caused drought conditions to expand in eastern Illinois, western Indiana, northern Michigan and most of Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as parts of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, according to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday by the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The report also shows that abnormally dry conditions expanded in eastern Iowa and South Dakota.

Rain eased drought in portions of northern Nebraska, though much of the western half of the state remains in extreme drought.

All of those states grown either corn or soybeans, or both. The drought monitor measures conditions through Tuesday morning.

Hot, dry weather also has fueled wildfires in the West, where drought expanded in portions of Idaho, western Montana, and northern Utah.

Weather patterns have helped some farmers in some states, though. The drought monitor showed improvement in western and central Kansas, western and central Oklahoma, the Panhandle of Texas, south-central Arkansas, and eastern Louisiana. Improvement from rain also was noted in western and southern South Dakota.

1
Text Only
National News
  • Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    A couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.

    Helen Felumlee, of Nashport, died at 92 on April 12. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died the next morning.

    April 19, 2014

  • State Unemployment [Duplicate] Unemployment fell in March WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than two-thirds of the states reported job gains in March, as hiring has improved for much of the country during what has been a sluggish but sustained 4 1/2-year recovery. The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment r

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Improved outlook for health law WASHINGTON (AP) -- A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults. Nonetheless, Obama's announceme

    April 19, 2014

  • U.S. puts off decision on Keystone XL pipeline WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections, by extending its review of the controversial project indefinitely. In a surprise announcement Friday as Was

    April 19, 2014

  • Chelsea Clinton [Duplicate] Title of new book:'Hard Choices' WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Hillary Rodham Clinton's upcoming book will be called "Hard Choices," a title that reflects how the potential 2016 presidential candidate may try to define her record as President Barack Obama's secretary of state while she consid

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.

    U.S. Circuit Judge Jerome Holmes is seen as the swing vote on the three-judge panel that heard the Oklahoma appeal and a similar case from Utah last week.

    April 18, 2014

  • NASA's moon-orbiting robot crashes down as planned

    April 18, 2014

  • Eyewitness testimony no longer a gold standard

    The American legal system offers few moments as dramatic as an eyewitness to a crime pointing his finger across a crowded courtroom at a defendant.

    The problem is that decades of studies show eyewitness testimony is only right about half the time — a reality that has prompted a small vanguard of police chiefs, courts and lawmakers to toughen laws governing the handling of eyewitnesses and their accounts of crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 18, 2014

AP Video
Facebook