Central Iowa hit with terrible drought this summer

Farmers in central and west-central Iowa have been dealing with severe drought this summer.

Greg Jensen, who farms near Hamlin, Iowa, says that it is the worst drought he has seen in his 45 years of farming, even worse than 2012.

“In 2012, we got lucky in our area. We were dry but it wasn’t too bad for us, but I’d have to say this is probably the worst I’ve ever had farming,” he said. “He will be chopping twice as much silage as he usually does.”

Iowa State University Extension agronomist Mike Witt says that while the corn is still green, the issue is ear development.

“The ear will start to get smaller. You’ll get less kernels around and you will also start to get tip back,” he said. “One of the things people will notice when they look in their fields is how fast the crop is maturing. Looking at ears and there could be some that are denting already, which is far too soon to be doing that.”

Pastures are also deteriorating quickly and many cattlemen have started supplementing their cows with hay or grain for a couple of weeks now.