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Farmers hoping for good ‘ending’

Lead Summary

Ask ISU Extension Agronomist Terry Basol the keys to getting through what has been an extremely difficult growing season for area farmers, and his answer is twofold.
“We need timely rains and, more than most years, we really need to avoid any prolonged heat waves,” he said last week, “but at the same time, considering where we were at a month ago, we’re in a far better place.”
It’s why area growers, if they were awake that is, didn’t mind the sounds of thunder and the bright lightning that occurred last Friday night into early Saturday morning, when most of the area received rainfall ranging from around a half of an inch to an inch.
That rain, along with heavy rains that fell on the area Aug. 6-9 helped push the 2021 crop along.
“It helped immensely, no question about it,” Basol said of the rainfall earlier this month that measured around five inches in many areas and topped out at almost 12 inches just to the west of Ionia, “and honestly, it was a godsend. If we hadn’t gotten that, I think we might have been in a world of hurt.”
That rainfall led to an improved report — at least in Chickasaw County — from the U.S. Drought Monitor in its weekly report that was released on Aug. 12, and last week’s report once again showed improvement in the drought picture in Northeast Iowa.

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