Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
“Strong storms continue to roll through the state and cause isolated crop and property damage. However, they also bring needed moisture and crops that have avoided the severe weather remain in good shape, with 83 percent of corn and 79 of soybeans rated in good to excellent condition,” Northey said.
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:
Iowa farmers harvested over 30 percent of their alfalfa hay acreage during the week ending June 15, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Both precipitation and temperatures were below normal for the week. Statewide there were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Other activities for the week included replanting crops, spraying, and nitrogen side dressing.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 14 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 6 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 23 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. South central Iowa remained the wettest with nearly one-quarter of the topsoil in surplus condition.
With almost the entire corn crop emerged, corn condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 14 percent fair, 63 percent good, and 20 percent excellent. Ninety-five percent of the soybean acreage has emerged, 41 percentage points ahead of last year and 9 percentage points ahead of the five year average. Soybean condition rated 2 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 16 percent fair, 61 percent good, and 18 percent excellent. Forty-seven percent of the oat crop has headed, 4 days ahead of the previous year but 2 days behind normal. Oat condition rated 0 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 60 percent good, and 12 percent excellent.
The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 73 percent complete, 45 percentage points ahead of last year and 9 points above average. Hay condition was rated 0 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 54 percent good, and 17 percent excellent. Pasture condition rated 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 18 percent excellent. Stress on livestock was reported as minimal.
Iowa Preliminary Weather Summary
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Iowa experienced an unseasonably cool week with highly variable rain amounts. Mostly dry weather prevailed at the beginning of the reporting week on Sunday (8th) with rain falling over far northwest Iowa on Monday (9th) morning. Light to moderate rain fell across the southeast one-third of the state on Tuesday (10th) while dry weather prevailed over most of Iowa on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Rain fell across the northwest one-half of the state on Saturday (14th) into Sunday (15th) morning. Torrential rain fell across portions of Lyon and Osceola counties of far northwest Iowa on Saturday morning. Another period of torrential rain occurred Saturday night into Sunday morning centered upon Woodbury County and extending northeastward into Buena Vista County. There was no measureable rain during the week across portions of central Iowa, including Indianola, Des Moines, Ames, Marshalltown, Waterloo and Manchester. On the other end of the spectrum Rock Rapids reported 6.88 inches of rain for the week. Other locations reporting more than one-half foot of rain were Correctionville (6.76), Holly Springs (6.43) and Sioux City Airport (6.22) in Woodbury County and 6.05 inches at the Storm Lake Airport. The statewide average precipitation was 0.67 inches or a little more than one-half of the weekly normal of 1.19 inches. Temperatures were below normal throughout the week excepting portions of western Iowa on Wednesday (11th). Highest temperatures came on Wednesday with 85 degree readings at Clarion, Hampton and Little Sioux and also on Saturday (14th) at Little Sioux, Oakland and Sidney. On the other extreme Friday (13th) morning lows were in the 40’s over most of Iowa with Battle Creek (38) and Sioux City (39) dipping into the thirties. Battle Creek’s 38 degree minimum temperature was the lowest recorded for so late in the season in Iowa since Cresco dropped to 35 degrees on June 21, 1992. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 4.1 degrees below normal.