Iowa State holds webinar to aid drought-stricken farmers - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Iowa State holds webinar to aid drought-stricken farmers


NASHUA, Iowa (KTTC) -- The drought continues to cripple farmers in most of the Midwest, and for Iowans looking for help, Iowa State University is offering every expert they can to get farmers through the drought of 2012. Their weapon of choice on Wednesday?

The Internet.

From St. Ansgar, to Osage and all across Iowa, brown replaces green as farmers grow desperate.

"Not real well. We haven't had rain at our place in six weeks," says Darrell Robinson of Plainsville, Iowa. "Around us and at farms north and south of us it has been less than an inch."

One of the nation's leaders in agriculture understands the need for any assistance that can be offered.

"Although there is a little bit of a forecast for rain tonight, it's not going to solve the problem," explains John Lawrence with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. "In fact, even if it starts raining now, we will probably continue to have issues in many parts of the state."

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach opened 25 locations across the state Wednesday, one of them at the Borlaug Learning Center near Nashua. Topics ranging from weather forecasts, the future of soybeans and corn in Iowa, drought-initiated diseases and insurance were discussed.

With these Iowa farmers going through one of the most significant droughts of their lifetime, the only thing that can truly help them is a significant amount of rain. This webinar is empowering the Iowa farmers with the weapon of knowledge.

The experts liked what they have seen from the soybean crop not so much from the corn, saying it could be too late.

"We've already lost 7 to 8 percent of our corn yield, and that's not a per farm basis, that's on a statewide and a nationwide basis," explains Dr. Elwynn Taylor, an Agricultural Meteorologist with Iowa State University.

Help from the experts of their field. It is an option that farmers are not passing up.

Information discussed at the seminar can be found on the university's extension website.

They say knowledge is power, and farmers want to use that power to help them survive the summer.

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