DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Not since 1988... that's the phrase that is being heard by farmers as they describe the current hot and dry conditions as it is taking a toll on Iowa crops. The condition of corn and soybeans continues to decline. 1988 was the last time Iowa suffered a major state-wide drought.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday's weekly report that only 46 percent of the corn is in good to excellent shape. That's the lowest level for the first week of July since 1993. A week ago, it was 62 percent.
Forty-eight percent of soybeans are in good to excellent condition, down from 59 percent last week.
The USDA says 88 percent of topsoil moisture and 82 percent of subsoil moisture are short or very short. Roger Elmore serves as the corn specialist for Iowa State University. He says farmers have probably already lost nine percent of the yield potential.
Mark Licht is an extension agronomist with Iowa State University. He says farmers can calculate the amount of lost yield by adding up the number of hours corn leaves are rolled.
Iowa had 100-plus temperatures from Wednesday through Saturday. The highest temps so far this year were on Saturday with eight communities reaching 105 degrees. There was no widespread rain.