Monday, July 23, 2012

Rain is expected to fall in Carroll on Wednesday for the first time in more than two weeks but might do little to remedy the drought that has stunted or killed much of the county’s corn crop.

The National Weather Service predicts that up to 1/4 inch of rain could fall on Wednesday and Thursday. Thunderstorms could drop larger amounts of rain in some areas.

“This may be the first time in a while for widespread light precipitation for much of the state,” meteorologist Rachel Hatteberg said.

Iowa will again be on the edge of a series of storms that is expected to be strongest in central Minnesota. Much of this summer’s storms have swung north into Minnesota and Wisconsin, weather officials have said.

Carroll fared better than most areas of the state for rainfall in June with 4.22 inches, which was more than an inch better than the statewide average, state Climatologist Harry Hillaker said.

But Carroll’s dismal .28 inch this month is behind the state’s average and far less than the normal expected amount for the entire month — 5 inches.

High temperatures are expected to cool this week from today’s expected high of 103 degrees to mid- to high-80s this weekend.

The U.S. Drought Monitor reported last week that most of Carroll is in a moderate drought and that the eastern half of Iowa is in a severe drought. An updated report is expected Tuesday.

Corn prices on the Chicago Board of Trade remain high but receded a bit this morning from last week’s record highs. September corn closed at $8.24 per bushel on Friday but dipped about 10 cents by late morning.

The Carroll County Iowa State University Extension office is set to hold a drought meeting for farmers at 7 p.m. Thursday at Swan Lake State Park’s Education Center.

Agriculture experts will discuss how to use drought-stricken corn as silage — among other topics — and will test farmers’ stalks for nitrate toxicity to be sure they are safe to feed to livestock.

Other Extension offices across the state have held similar meetings with 200 to 400 people in attendance. For more information about Thursday’s meeting, call the Carroll Extension office at 792-2364.

A burn ban in Carroll County went into effect Sunday, which bars residents from burning trash and other debris outdoors.

Residents can obtain permission from a local fire chief to burn the debris. Near Carroll, that’s Fire Chief Greg Schreck at 775-2028. The burns must be supervised.