A look back: Iowa farmers faced major weather challenges in 2020


A look back: Iowa farmers faced major weather challenges in 2020

Iowa ag secretary Mike Naig

While many Midwestern farmers faced weather challenges in 2020, Iowa farmers had more than their fair share.

The state’s 2020 growing season was dominated by two “d” words—drought and derecho. Iowa ag secretary Mike Naig says the derecho was unlike anything they’ve ever seen before.

“It’s not that we haven’t had derechos before—it’s just that we hadn’t seen one of this magnitude,” Naig says. “Something that went from southern South Dakota all the way over to western Ohio and cut a huge swath right through the middle of Iowa—millions of acres of cropland that were impacted.”

If not for the derecho, Naig says drought would have been the big story of the year for Iowa’s farmers.

“If nothing else had happened, we would have been talking all about drought. At one point, 99 percent of the state of Iowa was in a drought category. And in fact, we still have severe drought in northwest Iowa, so we’re definitely looking at a soil moisture deficiency as we come into the 2021 growing season.”

Throw in the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and 2020 is a year many Iowa farmers would like to forget.

AUDIO: Mike Naig

This story originally appeared on the Voice of Muscatine. Read More local stories here.

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