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A month of rain in one day

The late-season rainfall won't help crops stunted by drought

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More than 2 inches of rain fell in Carroll on Tuesday, which was more rainfall than the totals for each of the past three months.

Storms persisted day and night and dropped a total of 2.25 inches in Carroll, according to National Weather Service data. Moderate amounts of rain are predicted for the area for the rest of the week.

The stormy week follows months of drought in west central Iowa, which for Carroll County has been classified as "extreme" in recent weeks, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

A total of about 8 inches of rain had fallen in Carroll in the past five months, which is nearly 12 inches shy of normal. The totals for each month were:

— August: 1.3 inches

— July: 1.44

— June: 2.19

— May: 2.62

— April: .59

Rainfall this week is too late to rejuvenate the region's corn crop, according to Michael Witt, a field agronomist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

"We're just too far gone," he said this morning. "If it was a month ago, absolutely (it would help). However, we did not get it at that time. If anything it will compound some of the issues we're going to see when it comes to molds."

The corn has been stunted by the lack of rain and — in some fields — toppled by the derecho storm in August. The worst damage from that storm began in northeast Carroll County and stretched east across the state.

Toppled corn can be difficult or even impossible to harvest because it can clog combines or be out of reach of them.

"This year is going to be a challenge," said Tim Christensen, a farm management specialist for Extension and Outreach. "A lot of this corn is blown down, but we're still going to try to harvest. Mentally, it's really going to wear on people."

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