DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
“The heavy rains that rolled through North-central Iowa late last week caused flash-flooding and created real challenges for farmers and communities. But, in general crops continue to move towards maturity and remain in pretty good condition with 81 percent of corn and 76 percent of beans rated good to excellent,” Northey said.
Already saturated fields along with heavy rains on Friday limited fieldwork in the State to 3.9 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending August 30, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included cutting hay and silage, as well as harvesting oats. Scattered reports of sudden death syndrome and white mold in soybean fields were received.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 6 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 14 percent surplus. Heavy rains in central Iowa raised topsoil and subsoil surplus moisture levels up 13 and 12 percentage points to 28 and 30 percent, respectively.
Ninety-five percent of the corn crop reached the dough stage or beyond, with 57 percent dented or beyond, 3 days ahead of last year, but 3 days behind the 5-year average. Three percent of the corn crop was reported as being mature. Corn condition rated 81 percent good to excellent. Ninety-five percent of soybeans were setting pods or beyond, while 11 percent of soybeans were turning color, 2 days ahead of 2014, but 2 days behind normal. Soybeans dropping leaves were also reported this week by a few reporters. Soybean condition rated 76 percent good to excellent. Oats harvested for grain or seed was virtually complete this week.
The second cutting of alfalfa hay was nearing completion, while the third cutting of alfalfa hay was 67 percent complete, 5 days behind average. Pasture condition rated 66 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as generally good, although muddy lots were reported in some areas.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
It was an unseasonably cool week across Iowa with highly variable rainfall amounts. There was a gradual warming trend during the week with a few locations edging slightly above normal on Thursday (27th) and Sunday (30th). Temperature extremes for the week ranged from Tuesday (25th) morning lows of 40 degrees at Spencer and Sheldon to a Sunday (30th) afternoon high of 85 degrees at Donnellson. The statewide average temperature for the week was 5.9 degrees below normal. Dry weather prevailed statewide from Sunday (23rd) morning through Wednesday (26th) night. Showers and thunderstorms brought rain to all but far southeastern Iowa between Thursday (27th) morning and Saturday (29th) morning. Very heavy rain fell Friday (28th) along and just south of U.S. Highway 20 from Fort Dodge east to Waterloo with four to six inch amounts common. Weekly rain totals varied from only sprinkles at Bloomfield, Fairfield, Mount Pleasant, Burlington, Fort Madison and Keokuk to 6.59 inches at Steamboat Rock in Hardin County. However, unofficial rain totals between 9 and 10 inches were received from southeast Webster and southern Hamilton counties. The statewide average precipitation was 1.52 inches while normal for the week is 0.91 inches.