Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

October 15, 2012

Rain helps settle dusty fields


OSKALOOSA — This weekend's rain came far too late to make a difference with this year's crops, but that doesn't mean farmers saw no benefit.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop condition report says the rain helped settle dust on farms. That's good news for farmers who otherwise would see topsoil blow off .

The harvest is nearing completion, with 87 percent of the corn crop already out of the fields. Soybeans are ahead of that number, with 93 percent harvested. Both are well ahead of normal. Soybeans are running three weeks ahead. And at this time last year only 40 percent of the state's corn crop had been harvested.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker said the southeast two-thirds of Iowa saw an inch of rain or more. That's great news for the region, but the worst of the drought is in the northwestern corner of Iowa, which saw virtually no rain.

Bloomfield was among the wettest locations with an official total of 4.15 inches of rain. Hillaker said the weekend made this the "wettest week in 24 weeks."