DES MOINES, Iowa (April 19, 2021) – 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.
“After soil temperatures warmed for several days, some farmers were able to start planting this past week,” said Sec. Naig. “With late-season snowflakes flying in parts of the state today and freezing temperatures expected early this week, farmers should continue to be cautious about planting.”
The weekly report is also available on the USDA’s website at nass.usda.gov.
Snow and abnormally low temperatures meant farmers were not planting row crops for most of the week ending April 18, 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week. Field activities for the week included applying anhydrous and dry fertilizer, spreading manure, tilling fields and planting.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 6% very short, 23% short, 67% adequate and 4% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 10% very short, 32% short, 54% adequate and 4% surplus.
Although most Iowa farmers continued to wait for warmer temperatures, 4% of Iowa’s corn crop has been planted. Nearly two-thirds of Iowa’s expected oat crop has been planted, 5 days ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of the 5-year average. Statewide 12% of the oat crop has emerged, 2 days ahead of average. There were scattered reports of soybeans planted.
Pasture condition rated 47% good to excellent. Some cattle have already been moved to pasture.
Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
After a warm first half of April, cooler conditions were observed statewide over the reporting period with temperatures up to six degrees below normal; the statewide average temperature was 44.8 degrees, 4.5 degrees below normal. A less active storm track brought drier than normal readings to rain gauges across the state with departures of up to 0.80 inch in the northeast.
Rain showers finally exited eastern Iowa early in the afternoon on Sunday (11th) as skies continued to clear west to east. Daytime highs ranged from the mid 60s in southwest Iowa to low 50s in the east. Gusty westerly winds built in across the state on Monday (12th) under mostly sunny skies with afternoon temperatures reaching into the mid to upper 50s. Cloud cover increased overnight into Tuesday (13th) with lows hovering in the mid 30s to upper 30s where clouds were present; under clear skies, thermometers in southwestern Iowa registered readings in the low 30s. Windy conditions persisted through Wednesday (14th) as afternoon temperatures remain unseasonably cool; northern Iowa reported highs in the low to mid 40s under cloud cover while sunny skies in the south pushed temperatures into the mid 50s. Morning temperatures reported at 7:00 am on Thursday (15th) were at or below freezing across much of Iowa as a cold front dropped south through the state with the coldest readings in northern Iowa; the statewide average low was 30 degrees, seven degrees colder than normal. Afternoon conditions were generally overcast with a light northwesterly wind and temperatures in the upper 40s and low 50s.
Overnight lows into Friday (16th) remained above freezing across much of northern Iowa where cloud cover was present though some stations in southern Iowa reported readings below 32 degrees. Clouds and a light northerly wind held afternoon temperatures in the mid 40s and low 50s as an upper level disturbance approached from the west. Rain showers pushed into southwestern Iowa during the afternoon hours on Saturday (17th) as chilly conditions persisted across Iowa; temperatures only reached into the mid 40s over the state’s western half. Showers lingered over southern Iowa into Sunday (18th) with 24 hour rain totals reported at 7:00 am across the southern one-third of Iowa ranging from near 0.50 inch west to a little over 0.10 inch east. Morning temperatures were also warmer where rain was falling, generally in the low 40s. Clear skies in eastern Iowa allowed temperatures to fall into the upper 30s.
Weekly rain totals ranged from no accumulation at most of northern Iowa’s stations to 0.42 inch in Randolph (Fremont County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.05 inch while the normal is 0.86 inch. Mount Ayr (Ringgold County) reported the week’s high temperature of 71 degrees on the 11th, 10 degrees above normal. Airports in Marshalltown (Marshall County) and Sioux City (Woodbury County) reported the week’s low temperature of 25 degrees on the 14th, 12 degrees below normal. Four-inch soil temperatures were in the low 50s south to upper 40s north as of Sunday.