Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1209493

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 20, 2014

Drought lifted from area map

By Xiomara Levsen | Jul 08, 2014

According to the United States Drought Monitor map released on July 3, Washington County is no longer listed as being in a drought.
This doesn’t come as a surprise to Dick Gallagher, who farms 800 acres of corn and soybeans north of Washington.
“I don’t think they update that map like they should,” Gallagher said. “We’re not in a drought and haven’t been in a drought for a while.”
Gallagher has noticed the tiling on his farm has been running really hard since it rained last week. He also said as far as he knows the subsoil moisture on his farm is also doing well.
All of the moisture has helped his corn crop to grow high, Gallagher said.
“The corn’s looking really good,” Gallagher said. “It’s off to a fantastic start.”
Still, some areas in his soybean crop are starting to show wet spring spots on the leaves, Gallagher said.
He said he wasn’t sure if he received any wind or hail damage yet because he hasn’t been able to survey it yet.
“There are some areas in the county where we’ve been hit hard with hail and wind damage, but you can’t see that unless you fly over the crops in a plane,” he said.
Gallagher hopes things change a little bit rainwise for the month of July.
“I’m really hoping for a dry period,” he said. “A rain every 8 to 10 days would be nice, but it’s all in the hands of Mother Nature. I think everybody [other farmers] is feeling the same and would like a dry period, but once you get the crop in the ground it’s all up to Mother Nature.”
Rob Stout, another farmer in Washington County, with 1,100 acres of corn and soybean crops on his land, said he wasn’t surprised to learn the county was no longer in a drought status.
“There’s no doubt in that,” Stout said. “I would say we definitely have not been in a drought for about a month and a half.”
Last week, Stout said his waterways were oversaturated with water.
“There was 2 feet of water in the grass waterways but we kept most of the water there,” Stout said. “None of my crops were underwater like some farmers a had along the Skunk River, which are still underwater.”
He has seen some damage to his crops from the rain that came through last week.
“There were some areas with standing water where the crops are beginning to look a little yellow,” Stout said. “I would expect some diseases to be a little bit worse there.”
Root disease is also another concern of Stout’s, but there is little he can do about it.
“You just hope that they [the crops] grow out of it,” he said.     
Even with the subsoil moisture and grass waterways being full on his farm, Stout would like more rain to come.
“We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’ve got a good crop going,” Stout said. “We need some rains yet for July and continuous rains for the bean crop in August.”

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