|Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report
June 14 – 20, 2021
DES MOINES, Iowa (June 21, 2021) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.
“Iowans have experienced one of the driest starts to June on record. Timely and beneficial rain fell across parts of the state this weekend bringing some relief after a long stretch of hot and dry days. Rainfall totals were not enough to make up for the precipitation deficits that have accumulated over the past year,” said Secretary Naig. “The silver lining is that forecasts show a cooler and wetter pattern setting up over the next week as we enter a critical period for crop development.”
The weekly report is also available on the USDA’s website at nass.usda.gov.
With only spotty rains across most areas of the State, farmers had 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 20, 2021 according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field activities included spraying post emergence herbicides, side dressing nitrogen, and harvesting hay.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 25% very short, 39% short, 35% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 23% very short, 46% short, 31% adequate and 0% surplus.
Crops showed signs of stress from the lack of precipitation and high heat. Farmers reported corn curling and ground cracking in some areas. Iowa’s corn condition rated 56% good to excellent, 7 percentage points below the past week. Soybean emergence was 96% complete, 1 week ahead of the 5-year average. Across the State, 7% of soybeans were blooming, also 1 week ahead of normal. There were scattered reports of soybeans setting pods. Soybean condition declined to 57% good to excellent. Oats headed or beyond reached 74% with 13% turning color, 1 week ahead of the 5-year average. Iowa’s oat condition rated 54% good to excellent.
The first cutting of alfalfa hay reached 95% complete, 9 days ahead of normal. There were scattered reports of farmers completing a second cutting. Hay condition continued to fall to 49% good to excellent, 6 percentage points below last week. Pasture condition also continued to drop this week to 37% good to excellent. Heat and continued dry conditions are stressing livestock.
Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Through the middle of the month, much of Iowa experienced the driest start to June on record as unseasonably warm temperatures and low relative humidity gripped the state. The statewide average temperature was 75.6 degrees, 4.8 degrees above normal. With drought conditions persisting across Iowa, a shifting storm track brought much-needed rainfall to most of Iowa’s reporting stations along with severe weather, though precipitation deficits of up to 1.25 inches were reported in northeastern Iowa; only portions of southern Iowa reported above-average rainfall.
Afternoon temperatures on Sunday (13th) reached into the low to mid 90s with variable winds under a sunny sky. Overnight lows remained unseasonably warm, ranging in the low 60s to low 70s. Isolated, light showers pushed into northwest Iowa early on Monday (14th) as temperatures moderated from the previous day, generally in the 80s with a few passing clouds and a light breeze. With a large-scale high pressure dome parked over the Midwest and low dew points, morning lows into Tuesday (15th) ranged from the 50s northwest to low 60s southeast. Dry air and sunshine allowed temperatures to rise into the upper 80s and low 90s with reports of spotty haze in northeastern Iowa. Widely scattered thundershowers developed in western Iowa before sunrise on Wednesday (16th) as winds shifted to the south through the day boosting afternoon highs into the low 90s west to mid 80s east. Additional storms, some strong to severe, fired in northwestern Iowa during the late evening hours producing hail and strong winds from Buena Vista County south to Audubon County. Rain totals reported on Thursday (17th) showed widespread rainfall across a swath of western Iowa with lighter totals east as showers and thunderstorms moved through central and southern Iowa; Anita (Cass County) reported 0.78 inch while Manning (Carroll County) observed 0.96 inch with general accumulations of a few tenths of an inch at a majority of stations experiencing rain. Afternoon conditions were sweltering across much of Iowa with several stations reporting triple-digit temperatures; the statewide average high was 95 degrees, 14 degrees above normal.
A low pressure system propagating across northern Iowa produced stronger thunderstorms just before midnight and through Friday (18th) morning. Additional showers formed during the day as the atmosphere over southern Iowa destabilized into the evening hours, partially due to afternoon temperatures reaching into the 80s under clear skies and higher humidity. Severe thunderstorms formed in this environment with several large hail and straight-line wind reports south of Interstate 80; 2.50-inch diameter hail was reported near Lake Red Rock (Marion County) while severe straight-line winds flattened corn around Milton (Van Buren County). Rain totals at 7:00 am on Saturday (19th) were heaviest near the Iowa-Missouri border with almost 30 stations measuring an inch or more; six stations in Davis County reported more than two inches with a gauge in Drakesville dumping out 3.54 inches. Another strong low pressure system pushed across Iowa overnight into Sunday (20th) producing widespread and much-needed rainfall across most of Iowa with only 15 stations receiving no rain. The statewide average rainfall was 0.40 inch with Little Sioux (Harrison County) observing 2.10 inches; nearly 20 stations reported over an inch of water.
Weekly precipitation totals ranged from no accumulation at a few Iowa stations to 3.56 inches in Mediapolis (Des Moines County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.68 inch while the normal is 1.32 inches. Little Sioux (Harrison County) observed the week’s high temperature of 104 degrees on the 17th, 20 degrees above normal. Elkader (Clayton County) reported the week’s low temperature of 49 degrees on the 15th, nine degrees below normal.