Agronomist reports Shelby County crops look good despite dry weather

 SHELBY COUNTY — Crop reports show that the crops are looking good in Shelby County despite receiving significantly less water than in years prior, said Mike Witt, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Agronomist.
Witt said the crops were planted at a good time, and there were not too many slowdowns in the planting process due to the lack of rain.
Although, the county has seen more rainfall recently, Shelby County is still in a D1 or D2 drought level. Despite the county being behind roughly six inches of rain, reports have shown a good level of topsoil moisture due to the lower-than-normal temperatures this summer.
Witt covers crop reports all over west central Iowa. Starting in May, Witt reports on the crop and how things are going throughout the season.
“The crops are looking pretty good because we have good topsoil moisture,” Witt said. “Since we’ve had a lot of rain, especially in Shelby County, repeated week after week, we’ve got sewn down into that profile, but a lot of that rain and that moisture is up near the top of where there’s more root system in there, so the plants are able to easily utilize it.”
As the county turns the page to August, a lot will be up in the air. Temperatures are going to ramp up over the next couple of weeks. If the county continues to see rain, the crops will still be in a relatively good spot. However, if the rain does not continue, the crops won’t have that subsurface moisture to draw from, and things could change quickly.
Harvest season is also up in the air, timeline-wise. Witt expects the crops to be ready to harvest anytime between mid-September and October.
“If it gets hot and dry, things could dry up quickly, and then we’d have to harvest earlier,” Witt said. “If we get rain and it’s a cooler season, then we could get out into October and November, so it’s really dependent on the weather.”



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