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Drought Monitor Planting Concerns

As spring nears, farmers are starting to worry again about moisture levels, because the latest U-S Drought Monitor map for Iowa shows almost a fifth of the state is in extreme drought, with more than half of Iowa in severe drought. Angie Rieck-Hinz, a field agronomist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, says it’s been 190-some straight weeks of drought for the state and planting season is just a few weeks away. Rieck-Hinz says we’ll really need some timely rains throughout this growing season to keep enough water supplied to crops. Even with several heavy snows in January, now February is wrapping up warmer and drier than normal, which she says is worrisome for farmers.