|DES MOINES, Iowa (Aug. 16, 2021) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig commented today 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.
“We’re excited to welcome back the great Iowa State Fair. Fairgoers should see temperatures gradually rise through Sunday with slight chances of scattered thunderstorms,” said Secretary Naig. “The end of August outlooks are appearing warmer and wetter, which would be beneficial to areas experiencing extreme drought.”
The weekly report is also available on the USDA’s website at nass.usda.gov.
Although isolated areas of Iowa received substantial rain, statewide farmers had 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 15, 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Some areas of the State had no measurable precipitation during the week. Due to drought conditions, haying and grazing of CRP land continues. Field activities included harvesting hay and oats.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 23% very short, 38% short, 38% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 27% very short, 40% short, 33% adequate and 0% surplus. Topsoil moisture levels in Central and East Central Iowa were the lowest in the State, with more than 80% rated short to very short.
Corn in or beyond the dough stage reached 83%, one week ahead of the 5-year average. Twenty-nine percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage, four days ahead of normal. There were scattered reports of corn reaching the mature stage. Iowa’s corn condition rated 58% good to excellent. Soybeans setting pods reached 90%, one week ahead of normal. Across the State, there were scattered reports of soybeans coloring. Soybean condition was rated 58% good to excellent. Oats harvested for grain reached 93%, three days behind the 5-year average.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 54% complete, two days ahead of the 5-year average. Hay condition rated 55% good to excellent. Pasture condition was rated 33% good to excellent. In some areas of the State, pastures have stopped growing due to lack of rain. No comments concerning livestock were received.
Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Warmer temperatures and higher humidity returned to Iowa over the reporting period with positive temperature departures of up to four degrees observed across the central and southern parts of the state. The statewide average temperature was 73.9 degrees, 2.1 degrees above normal. Severe thunderstorms were also reported over a few days with heavy rainfall in northeastern Iowa, which was the only part of the state to measure above normal rainfall; drier than normal conditions persisted over the rest of Iowa.
A low pressure center continued to spin through Iowa on Sunday (8th), producing isolated showers as temperatures remained seasonal in the low 80s with a southerly wind. A severe thunderstorm popped up in northwestern Iowa during the early evening hours and slowly moved into central Iowa overnight into Monday (9th). The storm had several tornado warnings associated with it and a brief EF-0 was reported in Ocheyedan (Osceola County) producing some damage to a barn. Additional thunderstorms formed in northeastern Iowa with locally heavy downpours, creating localized flash flooding. The National Weather Service co-op station in Ionia (Chickasaw County) reported an astounding 11.25 inches of rainfall from a sluggish storm producing very heavy rain. Over 30 stations measured an inch or more with six in Chickasaw and Floyd counties reporting over four inches. As the low pushed farther east, afternoon highs rose into the mid 80s to low 90s under sunny skies. Overnight lows remained above normal, with upper 60s and 70s statewide; the average low was 68 degrees, six degrees above normal. Tuesday (10th) was the first anniversary of the devastating derecho that impacted Iowa and became the costliest thunderstorm in United States history. Severe thunderstorms fired in eastern Iowa during the afternoon hours with multiple severe straight-line wind reports from Marion to Fayette counties with a cluster of 60-70 mph wind gusts around Cedar Rapids (Linn County). Additional strong storms moved through southeastern Iowa late in the evening. Several stations reported more than an inch with a gauge near Central City (Linn County) collecting 3.24 inches.
Another round of isolated thunderstorms formed across a few counties in extreme southeast Iowa early in the morning on Wednesday (11th), leading to downpours and roadway flooding; Burlington (Des Moines County) measured 2.66 inches. Winds began to shift to a northerly direction during the afternoon as a cold front dropped south through Iowa. A few stronger storms popped along the boundary in eastern Iowa where temperatures remained in the upper 80s. A severe-warned cell moved through Dubuque (Dubuque County) leaving behind 0.99 inch of rain. Muggy conditions greeted the opening of the Iowa State Fair Thursday (12th) morning. Slow-moving thunderstorms remained over southeastern Iowa into the afternoon hours with heavier amounts reported at several stations along with flash flood warnings. Rain totals observed on Friday (13th) morning for the previous 24 hours showed totals ranging from 0.01 inches at Mount Pleasant (Henry County) to 1.74 inches at Centerville (Appanoose County). Behind the cold front, winds shifted to the northwest with low to mid 80s under sunshine. Starry skies and variable winds persisted overnight into Saturday (14th) with lows dropping into the upper 40s northwest to low 60s southeast. Lower humidity and temperatures in the lower 80s created a pleasant day across Iowa with clear conditions continuing into Sunday (15th) morning as low temperatures reported at 7:00 am in the low to mid 50s.
Weekly precipitation totals ranged from no accumulation at multiple stations in western Iowa to 11.25 inches at Ionia. The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.47 inch while the normal is 0.95 inch. Clarinda (Page County) observed the week’s high temperature of 96 degrees on the 12th, 11 degrees above normal. Forest City (Winnebago County) reported the week’s low temperature of 45 degrees on the 14th, 14 degrees below normal.