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 April through November. Additionally, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship provides a weather summary each week during this time.
“Although areas of Iowa received some rain over the weekend, persistent dryness and expanding drought continue to dominate,” said Secretary Naig. “Hot temperatures and a lack of rain have produced varying crop conditions, which may lead some farmers in pockets of the state to start harvesting earlier than usual.”
The weekly report is also available on the USDA’s website at nass.usda.gov.
Another week of above average temperatures and below average precipitation resulted in 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork for Iowa farmers during the week ending September 10, 2023, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field activities included chopping corn silage as well as cutting and baling hay. A few reports of corn and soybean harvest were received.
Topsoil moisture condition rated 37 percent very short, 42 percent short, 21 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 35 percent very short, 43 percent short, 21 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.
Corn in the dent stage or beyond was 90 percent this week, 6 days ahead of last year and 8 days ahead of the 5-year average. Thirty-eight percent of the State’s corn crop has reached maturity, 1 week ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of normal. Corn condition declined 3 percentage points to 46 percent good to excellent. Soybeans coloring or beyond reached 67 percent, 6 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of the average. Soybeans dropping leaves was 25 percent this week, 1 week ahead of last year and 3 days ahead of normal. Soybean condition fell 5 percentage points to 44 percent good to excellent.
The State’s third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 98 percent complete, 15 days ahead of last year and roughly 3 weeks ahead of the average. Pasture condition rated just 15 percent good to excellent. Getting water to livestock was a challenge for producers this week, with reports of some producers selling livestock due to lack of water and having to feed hay.
Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Unseasonable warmth early in the reporting period gave way to more seasonal temperatures through the end of the week, along with some chilly overnight lows; the statewide average temperature was 69.3 degrees, 1.5 degrees above normal. Rainfall was again sparse with widespread deficits of over 0.50 inch across much of Iowa, though the northeast registered near-normal totals.
Hot and dry conditions greeted Iowans on Sunday (3rd) afternoon with clear skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 90s at many stations; the statewide average high was 95 degrees, 15 degrees above normal. Southerly winds into Monday (4th) held morning lows in the mid to upper 60s with several low 70-degree readings southeast. Isolated clouds moved through eastern Iowa as afternoon highs lingered in the low to mid 90s. A weak cold front brought scattered light showers to far southwestern Iowa overnight into Tuesday (5th), though totals varied from a trace at a handful of stations to 0.08 inch at Logan (Harrison County). A stronger complex of thundershowers formed in southeastern Iowa through the late morning hours before dissipating around noon. Rainfall totals ranged from 0.12 inch at Salem (Henry County) to 0.43 inch in Burlington (Des Moines County). Additional thunderstorms formed in northeastern Iowa just before midnight and into the early morning hours on Wednesday (6th), producing a county-wide swath of 0.25- to 0.75-inch totals from Black Hawk to Dubuque County; Stanley (Buchanan County) measured 0.26 inch while Manchester (Delaware County) collected 0.74 inch. Winds shifted to the northwest as morning lows bottomed out in the low to mid 60s under overcast skies. Clouds cleared west to east into the afternoon hours as wildfire smoke filtered in behind the system. Daytime highs were comfortable, sitting in the upper 60s and low 70s along with gusty northwesterly winds.
Generally calm winds and clear skies led to colder overnight conditions as well as fog in western Iowa where temperatures fell into the low to mid 40s on Thursday (7th) morning. Temperatures rose into the low to mid 70s into the afternoon hours as cloud cover persisted in eastern Iowa. Daytime conditions were similar on Friday (8th) with near-seasonal temperatures in the upper 70s and low 80s under sunshine. Showers pushed across Iowa’s southwest corner just after midnight on Saturday (9th) with general totals under 0.10 inch with Sidney (Fremont County) collecting 0.13 inch. Scattered showers pushed across northern Iowa through the day, dissipating into the evening hours as temperatures warmed into the upper 70s with variable winds. A more concentrated area of showers and a few thunderstorms crossed into northwestern Iowa early Sunday (10th) morning ahead of a larger-scale weather disturbance. Measurable totals were observed at several stations with Mapleton (Monona County) hitting 0.23 inch while 0.32 inch was reported at Remsen (Plymouth County).
Weekly precipitation totals ranged from no accumulation at many Iowa stations to 1.10 inches at Dubuque Lock and Dam (Dubuque County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.07 inch while the normal is 0.84 inch. Waterloo Municipal Airport (Black Hawk County) reported the week’s high temperature of 100 degrees on the 3rd and 4th, with Algona (Kossuth County) joining on the 3rd. This reading was on average 20 degrees above normal. Fayette (Fayette County) reported the week’s low temperature of 35 degrees on the 8th, 16 degrees below normal.