DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented Monday on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
“Combines have started to roll and 5 percent of corn and 7 percent of soybeans have already been harvested. That will likely increase significantly this week as crops continue to dry down. Unfortunately, some areas of Southwest Iowa could be delayed another week or more following heavy rains last week,” Northey said. “With crops coming out it is also great to see cover crops starting to appear across the state.”
The report summary follows here:
Wet conditions in western Iowa kept farmers out of the fields, while warm and dry conditions in the rest of the State marked the beginning of harvest activities for many during the week ending September 27, 2015, according the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork, though conditions varied from only 2.5 days suitable in Southwest Iowa to 6.7 days in Southeast Iowa. Fieldwork for the week included cutting hay, chopping silage, harvesting seed corn, corn for grain and soybeans. There was also some tillage of harvested fields. Scattered reports indicate that cover crops are off to a good start, with some emerging.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 84 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 5 percent short, 83 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.
Seventy-one percent of the corn crop was percent mature, 6 days ahead of last year, but 3 days behind the 5-year average. Five percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, a week ahead of last year, but 13 days behind average. Moisture content of all corn being harvested was at 24 percent. Corn condition rated 80 percent good to excellent. Ninety-two percent of soybeans were turning color or beyond, while 72 percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, 4 days ahead of 2014, and 2 days ahead of normal. Seven percent of the soybean crop has been harvested. Soybean condition rated 77 percent good to excellent.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay is 29 percent complete, 2 days behind last year and 8 days behind the average. Pasture condition rated 66 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as good.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Iowa experienced another unseasonably warm week with temperatures averaging 8.2 degrees above normal. Monday (21st) brought the lowest temperatures with highs in the seventies statewide while Elkader recorded a morning low of 41 degrees. Daily highs were in the seventies and eighties for the remainder of the week with highest readings of 86 degrees on Tuesday (22nd) at Atlantic, Lamoni, Oakland and Osceola. Rainfall was exceptionally variable. There was no rain statewide on Monday (21st), Saturday (26th) and Sunday (27th). A very slow moving low pressure center brought an extended period of showers and thunderstorms to western Iowa between Tuesday morning and early Friday morning. Torrential rain was centered upon western Pottawattamie and Mills counties on Wednesday morning with another area across southwest Monona County. No rain fell over the eastern one-half of Iowa during the week while Council Bluffs recorded as much as 9.28 inches of rain and Glenwood saw 6.80 inches. Rainfall of two inches or more was common across a wide area of west central and southwest Iowa. The statewide average precipitation was 0.79 inches or just slightly more than the weekly normal of 0.75 inches.