IEM Daily Feature
Thursday, 12 July 2007

Running out of water

Posted: 12 Jul 2007 06:49 AM

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Modelled soil moisture values for a corn field near Ames
The featured graph is WEPP modelled soil moisture values taken from a representative corn field near Ames. Values are shown for 3 layers of the top soil including the entire "root zone" down to 1.5 meters (red line). Notice anything of concern? Since June 1, Ames has only received approximately 3 inches of rain while the crop has been using whatever soil water it can find to grow. The result is the rapid drying down to near the wilting point where no further water is available for the crop. These next two weeks are critical as the corn crop goes thru pollination stage.

Good = 16
Bad = 3