Expect soil drought to continue in 2013
“We have reason to believe that this drought will be going on for some people next year because it will take an amazing amount of fall rain and early spring rain to get the soil moisture back up to a level we consider ideal, which is essentially full of water so that field tiles are running and getting rid of excess moisture.
“How much water will it take to do that? Each foot of our better agricultural soils holds two inches of plant-available water. If there is more than two inches of water in the soil, it will drop out the bottom if it can, out the tiles if they are there.
“For five feet, the average rooting depth for corn and soybeans in Iowa, that is 10 inches of water. This year, the roots went deeper than usual,” Taylor explained. In generalities, with 20 inches of moisture necessary to produce an average corn crop, it means that 10 more inches of rain is normally needed during the growing season, but it didn’t occur this year, and the soil, up to even nine feet deep in some fields, was drained of every ounce of moisture by roots going deeper and deeper.
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