Iowa Drought Information and Resources

Issues: Agriculture

The drought in Iowa is on everyone’s mind and is now reaching levels not seen since at least 1988.

As of July 2012, 58.77% of Iowa is currently under severe drought. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said recently that 19 percent of Iowa’s corn and 20 percent of its soybeans are now in poor condition. Last year at this time the USDA gave a good to excellent rating to 80 percent of the corn crop, but now it is down to 36 percent. Corn and soybean prices have reached all time highs, while cattle prices have slumped.

My office has compiled the below resources for affected and concerned Iowans. If you have any further questions about these resources or about anything not covered below, please contact me here.



What help is currently available for farmers impacted by the drought?

  • Affected farmers may apply for the Emergency Loan Program by documenting their hardship with their county's Farm Service Agency office.
  • Livestock producers should also document livestock loss as a result of the drought in the event that the new Farm Bill includes the expired Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance programs, and provides for retroactive funding.
  • Farmers can still receive assistance from the Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). They may report losses of qualifying products that cannot be insured through federal crop insurance to their local FSA office.
  • Designated disaster areas may also utilize emergency haying and grazing.

Emergency Disaster Programs Administered by the Farm Service Agency

Below is an overview of disaster assistance programs offered by the Farm Service Agency.

Click the image for a larger version or click here for a PDF version to download or print. [Adobe Reader required]


Crop Assistance

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
Provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or prevented planting occurs due to natural disasters.

Fact Sheet: NAP Program
USDA's Farm Service Agency's (FSA) Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or prevented planting occur due to a natural disaster.

Crop Insurance for Farmers

Crop insurance is a risk management tool available to agricultural producers providing protection against low yields and/or lost revenue due to natural disasters including drought, excessive moisture, disease and other perils.


Additional Resources

Latest information about the Iowa Drought
The U.S. Drought Portal is part of the interactive system to provide early warning about emerging and anticipated droughts, assimilate and quality control data about droughts and models, provide information about risk and impact of droughts to different agencies and stakeholders, provide information about past droughts for comparison and to understand current conditions, explain how to plan for and manage the impacts of droughts, and provide a forum for different stakeholders to discuss drought-related issues.

Drought Updates from the U.S. Deptartment of Agriculture
Visit the USDA Blog for the lastest updates about weather conditions and other information about the drought and how it affects Iowa.

Disaster and Drought Assistance
A good resource from the USDA providing drought updates and information about crop assistance, crop insurance, assistance for livestock losses, and additional resources.

Interactive Iowa Drought Conditions Map
This interactive Google map uses data from the NOAA Palmer Drought Index for Iowa.

Disaster Assistance Programs
The USDA's Farm Service Agency provides assistance for natural disaster losses, resulting from drought, flood, fire, freeze, tornadoes, pest infestation, and other calamities.

Frequently Asked Questions about Crop Insurance & Drought Damaged Crops
Get answers from USDA's Risk Management Agency about your crop insurance anddrought damaged crop questions.