Peoples' Weather Map


2018 Snow and Rain Challenge Agriculture

Osceola County

Wallaces Farmer reported on June 26, 2018, that April snowstorms, depositing some 30 inches of snow, and May showers, bringing some 6 inches of rain, had already delayed planting in Clay, Dickinson, and Osceola Counties, when, on June 20, a low-pressure system brought heavy rain. A line of severe thunderstorms produced not only heavy rain but also severe winds, hail, and weak tornadoes.  One farmer observed, “It’s been a tough go, but crops are hanging in there so far—except for the flooded fields.  The additional rain this past week and now this week is a concern….We are dealing with ponding, nitrogen loss, and I’m afraid some weeds may get too tall to spray.” 

            On October 19, 2018, the Osceola County Daily News was still reporting on problems caused by wet weather:  manure storage problems for livestock producers, delayed harvests that delayed spread of manure on fields, full lagoons of animal waste.  Ken Hessenius of Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources was advising livestock producers to take a look at their options and do something before the situation became an environmental and economic crisis.  He offered the DNR’s services in helping to find those solutions and observed that even if crops were cleared from fields in order to then apply manure, issues would remain.

            2018 was not the only year of heavy snowfall in the twenty-first century.  In April of 2007 four Iowa counties, Osceola among them, received Presidential emergency declarations and federal aid because of recent record snowfall. Between February 28 and March 2 of that year there were 48 continuous hours of snow removal required, exceeding county budgets.  In 2013 between May 1 and 3, there were record-setting spring snows in south and north central Iowa.  Rain turned to snow those early May days as storms swept across Osceola County.

Sources: on line: Rod Swoboda, “Too Much Rain in Northern Iowa,” Wallaces Farmer June 26, 2018; Osceola County Daily News, October 19, 2018;;