As the July Crop Tour crossed the Mississippi River from Illinois into Iowa Wednesday afternoon, there was one constant drumbeat: a picture of crops withering under the heat and drought. The view from the air of a farm northwest of Muscatine, Iowa, (above) shows the sharp contrast of irrigated cropland with the dryland pivot corners, as well as the extreme variability of the crop shown in the foreground suffering from the extreme weather.
It was a common scene in western Illinois today, too.
Kyle Tapley, MDA EarthSat meteorologist and tour director, reported that the "variability across the western half of Illinois was much higher than anything we have seen so far on the tour." Yield checks showed corn yields running well below county averages in most cases.
The photo below, taken further west of of the Mississippi and along the tour route, shows how much some Iowa crops are lending to the drought drama.