DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today 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.
“The cooler temperatures and rain showers that moved in this weekend were welcome relief after another week of hot and dry weather further stressed corn and soybeans,” Northey said. “Harvest remains delayed because of the late planting and cooler weather for much of the growing season.”
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:
Most of Iowa received some precipitation during the week ending September 15, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide rainfall was still below average for the week. Temperatures were again above normal during most of the week, but cooled during the weekend. There were scattered reports of corn silage being cut. Statewide there were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 51 percent very short, 34 percent short, 15 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 45 percent very short, 38 percent short, 17 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. South Central Iowa was the driest with 82 percent of topsoil moisture rated very short.
Ninety-four percent of the corn was at or beyond the dough stage. Seventy-seven percent of the crop was dented, 12 percentage points behind normal. Fifteen percent of corn was mature, well behind the normal 45 percent. A few operators reported harvesting their earliest planted corn. Corn condition remained unchanged at 9 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 31 percent good and 4 percent excellent. Forty-three percent of soybeans were turning color, 30 percentage points behind normal. Seven percent of the crop has begun to drop leaves, 10 days behind normal pace. Soybean condition was almost unchanged at 10 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 30 percent good and 3 percent excellent.
The harvest of third cutting alfalfa was nearing completion at 94 percent complete, ahead of the normal 88 percent. Pasture condition declined slightly and was rated 33 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 8 percent good and 1 percent excellent.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Unseasonably hot weather continued over most of Iowa through Wednesday (11th) with much cooler air prevailing for the remainder of the week. Temperatures reached 102 degrees at Donnellson and Keokuk on Monday (9th). These were the highest temperatures recorded so late in the year for Iowa since September 28, 1953. However, morning low temperatures fell to 39 degrees at Cresco on Friday (13th) and down to 36 degrees at Belle Plaine, Lowden and Williamsburg on Saturday (14th). Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 6.4 degrees above normal. As the cold front slowly made its way across Iowa from Tuesday evening to Thursday morning showers and thunderstorms brought light to moderate rain to much of the state. Another area of rain moved across the state from late Saturday (14th) into Sunday (15th) afternoon. About one-half of the rain from the second system fell after the cut-off for this report and will be included in next Monday’s report. Nevertheless, a few areas were missed completely by the rain with locations such as Sheldon, Sioux City, Storm Lake and Jefferson receiving no measurable rain. Precipitation of greater than inch was confined to relatively small areas over the southern one-third of Iowa. The maximum reported rainfall was 2.60 inches near Promise City in northeast Wayne County. The statewide average precipitation was 0.33 inches while normal for the week is 0.81 inches. This was the seventh consecutive week, and tenth of the past eleven, with below normal rainfall.