DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.
“Another round of cold, wet weather and some significant snowfall again kept farmers from the field for much of the past week. As a result, we are now well behind the 5-year average of 11 percent of corn planted by April 22,” Naig said. “Starting late last week more seasonal weather started to allow some farmers in southern Iowa to begin spring field work and do some planting. Hopefully we will continue to see warmer temperatures and dryer weather so farmers across the state can get in the fields and start spring planting.”
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
The week began with below normal temperatures and counties in the northern half of Iowa received snow at mid-week before temperatures warmed to near normal by the week’s end. Statewide there were 1.5 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending April 22, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. When conditions allowed farmers applied anhydrous and dry fertilizer to their fields and seeded oats with a few scattered reports of corn being planted.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 7 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 13 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus. Northern Iowa has received an abundance of snow, while southern Iowa is in need of precipitation with south central Iowa the driest.
Twenty-three percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, almost 2 weeks behind last year and the 5-year average. Below normal temperatures have delayed oat emergence, with just 1 percent of the crop being reported as emerged, the lowest level at this time since 2001.
Extended winter conditions have delayed pasture development. Calving losses have been reported as higher than normal in areas of northern Iowa.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Michael Timlin, Regional Climatologist, Midwestern Regional Climate Center
Temperatures were well below normal with precipitation totals running slightly below normal in the north and well below normal in the south. Average temperatures were 10 to 20 degrees below normal for the week. Minimum temperatures dropped below freezing for much of the week and then remained above freezing over the weekend. This helped to allow soil temperatures to warm late in the week. Soil temperatures were mostly in the mid to upper 40s except in northwestern Iowa on the 22nd. Maximum temperatures averaged in the 40s for the northern half of the state and the low to mid 50s for the southern half. The coldest reading in Iowa was at Waukon on the 19th when the mercury dropped to 8 degrees. The warmest readings were in the low to mid 60s on Friday and Saturday topped by a 67 reading at Davenport on the 22nd. Precipitation totals ranged from little or nothing in the south to more than an inch at a handful of stations in northern Iowa. Hampton recorded 1.82 inches, well more than the next closest station. With just a few exceptions, the precipitation totals were below normal for the 7-day period. Snow was recorded at the morning observations on the 16th and 19th in northern Iowa. The largest snow totals were right around a foot, though Forest City, in Winnebago County, easily topped that with 22 inches of snow, 12 inches on the 16th and 10 inches on the 19th.