Moisture is needed, regardless of form

I’ve been known to whistle as I work, and I’ve been known to whistle as I walk the halls at Latham Hi-Tech Seeds.  But this week, I’m singing a new tune:

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!

Some may question my sanity, especially since it’s December in Iowa.  But as Paul Harvey would say, “Now for the rest of the story.”

The story is that Iowa – and much of the Upper Midwest – is suffering from a drought.  Our great state just completed its driest July-November period since 1976, according to a recent article in The Des Moines Register.  About three-quarters of the state officially classified as being in a drought.

With no autumn rainfall, we need moisture over the winter or in early spring.  Snowfall may or may not be of benefit, depends on when it comes and how it melts.  Snowfall on frozen ground that eventually melts is not of great benefit because it usually just runs off the frozen ground into the streams and rivers without filtering down into the soil profile.

Precipitation, like we’ve experienced here this week, is of great importance.  The ground isn’t completely frozen yet, so this rain and rain/snow can sink into the parched soil.

Sufficient moisture is critical in the spring for seeds to germinate and for seedlings to grow.  While fall precipitation can play a role, we can still make up for moisture deficiencies with snowmelt and spring rains.

And on that note, I’ll change my tune to something a little more appropriate to the season and to our climate:

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Listen to: Let It Snow