Drought Webinars to Begin in Iowa July 30

Specialists to offer weekly information as state battles excessively dry conditions

July 23, 2020, 1:20 pm | Meaghan Anderson, Mark Licht

(In-person drought meeting information also available. Updated, July 30, 2020).

AMES, Iowa – With most of western Iowa experiencing some form of drought, specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are partnering with the United States Department of Agriculture and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to offer a series of webinars on Thursdays.

drought corn.Beginning July 30, the group will kick off an initiative to help answer key questions regarding the development of drought in western Iowa, the expectation for continued hot and dry weather and impacts on row crops and forages. Attendees will be able to better manage livestock and drought-stressed forages, prepare for use of alternative forages, understand important crop insurance and marketing decisions, and plan for harvest of a drought-stressed crop.

“The crop condition in west central Iowa has been declining with continued dry conditions and higher temperatures,” said Mark Licht, assistant professor in agronomy and cropping systems specialist at Iowa State. “This webinar series will provide some insights into the current weather patterns and approaches to proactively make decisions as crop progress continues to develop. While there is really no crop management decision to be made, this webinar series will help plan for potential forage options, estimating yield potential, and planning for harvest and storage of the existing crop.”

According to the latest report from the United States Drought Monitor, more than half of Iowa is considered “abnormally dry” and nearly 40% of the state is in moderate to severe drought – with the worst conditions in the west central portion of Iowa.

“Precipitation deficits have been accumulating across the drought region over the last several months,” Justin Glisan, state climatologist of Iowa. “With sparse rainfall and unseasonably warm temperatures, conditions have continued to deteriorate, rapidly in some parts of west-central Iowa locations.”

Topics will include a general weather update, drought monitor updates, pasture and hay shortages, preparing for silage and nitrates, yield estimates, and end-of-year considerations related to grain quality and storage.

Along with Licht and Glisan, speakers will include Dennis Todey, director, USDA Midwest Climate Hub; Aaron Saeugling, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach; Chad Hart, professor of economics and extension grain market specialist with Iowa State, and various others.

The webinars will run from 1-2 p.m. on July 30, Aug. 6, Aug. 13 and Aug. 20, and are intended for crop farmers and livestock producers in drought-affected areas, ag service providers and ag retailers, farm managers, ag lenders and anyone impacted by drought conditions in Iowa. The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Corn Growers Association are sponsoring the series.

Registration is free but is required for participation and can be completed at any time during the series. A single registration allows for participation in any or all sessions.

In addition to the webinar series, local specialists are offering drought meetings in some of the most seriously affected counties from Aug. 3-7.

For more information, contact Meaghan Anderson, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach at 319-331-0058, or mjanders@iastate.edu. Mark Licht can be reached at 515-294-0877 or lichtma@iastate.edu.

Original photo: Dry corn field.

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