By Jared Strong
Iowa’s severe drought was finally over for the first time since last year. This was thanks to the record-breaking rainfall last October, which made it one the wettest Octs on record.
According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ water summary update, the state received an average of 5 inches of rain each year.
“The widespread, above-normal rainfall in October was just what was needed in Iowa,” said Tim Hall, the DNR’s hydrology resources coordinator. “Good, soaking rainfall before the winter freeze will set us up for a much better start to 2022. Hopefully, this trend can continue for the next four to six weeks.”
This week’s U.S. Drought Monitor analysis shows that less than half the state is in severe drought or abnormally dry. This is a stark contrast to June, when the state was in severe and moderate drought.
The northern third of the state was experiencing severe drought this year. (Water Summary Update/Iowa DNR)
Farmers were worried about the dry summer, but some timely rainfalls helped to salvage crop yields.
This week was the first time since July 2020 that no state part was experiencing severe drought. Many areas of the state received more than twice their normal rainfall. The rainfall in the northeast was lower than normal.
According to National Weather Service data Osceola in south Iowa received 7.42 inches. That’s compared to its usual of 2.89. Estherville in northwest Iowa received 7.05 inches. Waterloo recorded 3.72 inches.
The persistent rains slowed harvesting but farmers are still ahead of the five year average for completion, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As of Sunday, 88% of the soybean crop had been harvested and 70% of the corn had been harvested.
Iowa Capital Dispatch is part of the States Newsroom, a network of similar news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity.
Source: Successful Farming