Tag Archives: Weather

Farming Concerns in Iowa

Farmers are facing a very difficult spring in 2019. We recently drove 2 hrs through southeast Iowa and western Illinois. It appeared less than half the fields were planted. Late for this time of year. Nearly all plantings were corn less than 4 inches tall. Of those, there were large areas drowned out by recent heavy rains. The soybean crop has not been planted. Iowa normally supplies 13% of the nation’s soybeans. Much of the rich agricultural land of mid-America has received more than twice the normal precipitation for the year which has slowed work tremendously.

Several challenging issues for farmers are converging. Here are a few. Do they have crop insurance to cover losses? Is the federal government Market Facilitation Program recently announced going to help soybean farmers? What funds are available to help mitigate the growing problem of nitrates and nutrients in the watershed?

Chris Jones of the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research (IIHR) blogged on these issues. He explores these questions in his blog post This is why we can’t have nice things. I invite you to read his observations. Quoting:

Yes, I know we are having an unusual weather condition right now, and it is a factor in those numbers. But the fact of the matter is, we made weather a factor by wiping out the ecosystems that provided weather resilience. The landscape has no resilience to extreme weather. We see this year after year after year. Heck, when it comes to nitrogen loss, it has no resilience to even average weather… I think we deserve better.


Snowshoe Hike

by Jim and Melanie

We got a fresh 6″ snowfall in a narrow band across the region of eastern Iowa and western Illinois. The water equivalent was about 0.20 inches. That is a 30:1 snow:water ratio. Normal is 10:1. The snow was very light and fluffy.


The temperatures rose into the teens by mid-day as the snow fell. We donned our snow clothes, snowshoes, and hiking poles and set out on the trail behind our house that runs into other neighborhoods. It was peaceful and quiet. A bald eagle flew over us toward the Iowa River. Snow blanketed our shoulders.

It was 0˚F this morning with northwest wind increasing. Much colder tonight and the next few days. It will be best to stay home and warm.