DES MOINES, Iowa (Aug. 19, 2019) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Conditions report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.
“Farmers across the state welcomed the precipitation that fell over the past few days,” said Secretary Naig. “Some areas reported an inch of rainfall, which will help improve the abnormally dry conditions and moisture stress that were reported in a few counties.”
The weekly report is also available on the USDA’s site at nass.usda.gov/ia.
Much needed rain fell across parts of Iowa during the week ending August 18, 2019, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork. Fieldwork activities included scouting, spraying fungicides and insecticides and harvesting hay and oats.
Topsoil moisture condition was rated 6 percent very short, 25 percent short, 67 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Rain this past week helped improve topsoil moisture conditions except for the southeast district which remained at 64 percent short to very short. Subsoil moisture condition was rated 4 percent very short, 23 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.
Nearly all the corn crop has begun to silk at 96 percent statewide. Fifty-nine percent of the crop reached the dough stage, 12 days behind last year and 9 days behind the 5-year average. Seven percent of the crop reached the dented stage, 2 weeks behind last year and 10 days behind average. Corn condition rated 65 percent good to excellent.
Ninety-three percent of the soybean crop has started to bloom, 2 weeks behind last year and 10 days behind average. Seventy-one percent of the crop has started setting pods, 17 days behind last year and nearly 2 weeks behind average. Soybean condition declined slightly from the previous week to 61 percent good to excellent.
Oats harvested for grain has almost wrapped up at 97 percent complete statewide. The second cutting of alfalfa hay was nearly complete at 96 percent. The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 36 percent, 9 days behind average. Hay condition rated 55 percent good to excellent.
Pasture condition declined for the seventh straight week and rated a season low 42 percent good to excellent. Comments mentioned pasture regrowth has been slow and supplemental hay feeding has been used due to drier than normal pasture conditions. Some livestock have struggled with continued temperature fluctuations.
Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
After a three-week stretch of drier than normal conditions across the state, portions of southern and western Iowa received above average rainfall; the remaining parts of the state were near normal. Temperatures were slightly cooler than average with departures of one to two degrees below average across the state. The statewide average temperature was 70.9 degrees, 1.3 degrees below normal.
A low pressure system continued to move across Iowa through the afternoon on Sunday (11th) bringing measurable rainfall from showers and thunderstorms. There were locally heavy downpours with a stronger line of storms in southwest Iowa. Cloudy conditions kept temperatures below average, generally in the upper 70s to low 80s. A second low pressure system propagated through Iowa early on Monday (12th) morning bringing another wave of thunderstorms. As of 7 a.m., over 35 stations reported totals above an inch with Oakland (Pottawattamie County) reporting the highest 24-hour total of 2.82 inches. The average statewide rainfall was 0.39 inches. The system continued through eastern Iowa through the afternoon leaving behind 0.25 to 0.75 inches of rain in the northeast and southeast corners with isolated totals above an inch. Centerville (Appanoose County) reported 1.98 inches while Guttenberg Lock and Dam (Clayton County) observed 1.30 inches.
The system cleared the state overnight into Tuesday (13th) with lows dropping into the mid to upper 60s. Dense fog was also reported in central Iowa. Isolated strong storms clipped Iowa’s northeastern corner during the evening hours leaving behind rain totals ranging from 0.30 inches in Dubuque (Dubuque County) to 0.71 inches in Decorah (Winneshiek County).
A weak cold front dropped through Iowa early Wednesday (14th), producing unseasonably cool but pleasant conditions. The statewide average high was 75 degrees, eight degrees below average. Isolated showers formed on the backside of a low pressure system over the Great Lakes, bringing light rain across eastern Iowa. Totals were generally under a tenth of an inch.
Cooler conditions prevailed Thursday (15th) under partly to mostly sunny skies. Highs stayed in the upper 70s and low 80s. Daytime temperatures on Friday (16th) remained seasonal with a light variable wind. Rain moved into southern Iowa on Saturday (17th) morning along with isolated thunderstorms throughout the day. Chariton (Lucas County) reported 0.95 inches of rain. A squall line ahead of a cold front brought much needed rain to Iowa on Saturday night into Sunday (18th) morning. Totals across the state were above one inch at over 60 stations with isolated two-inch totals at several stations. There were also preliminary reports of a brief tornado in Rock Rapids (Lyon County) as well as in Grand Mound (Clinton County). Several severe straight-line wind events were reported in northwestern Iowa.
Weekly rainfall totals ranged from 0.24 inches in Charles City (Floyd County) to 4.97 inches in Atlantic (Cass County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 1.45 inches while the normal is 0.98 inches. The week’s high temperature of 89 degrees was reported on the 13th in Donnellson (Lee County) and Keosauqua (Van Buren County), on average three degrees above normal. Cresco (Howard County) reported the week’s low temperature of 50 degrees on the 15th, seven degrees below average.