While the dreaded “D” word--drought--often brings crop damage, yield loss and other negative effects for corn and soybean farmers, hay producers see benefits from dry weather.

James Baur, a farmer in Madison County, Iowa, says dryness across his state helped him with his first hay cutting. “The past few years it has been a struggle to get the first cutting up in good condition,” he says. “It didn’t get rained on. It’s the best one in the last three or four years in this area.”

The drought isn’t all roses for Baur, though. He suspects the dryness from the past month will take a bite out of his second cutting, but he’s optimistic the third cutting will make up for that loss.

Iowa has experienced a higher level of abnormal dryness this summer, namely throughout the month of June. Last week the state saw a three percentage-point improvement.

Take a look at the drought map below to see how your state is faring.

Iowa Dryness Good for Hay Quality

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