Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig commented 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.
“Harvest is in full swing. Warmer temperatures and mostly dry conditions across the state allowed for significant harvest progress in the past week,” said Secretary Naig. “Forecasts are highlighting the chances of widespread rainfall statewide this week, potentially keeping combines out of the fields for a few days later this week.”
The weekly report is also available on the USDA’s website at nass.usda.gov.
Western Iowa was the recipient of above average precipitation this week, however the State still had 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 8, 2023, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Corn and soybean harvest continued to be the primary field activities for the week.
Topsoil moisture condition rated 32 percent very short, 44 percent short, 23 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 37 percent very short, 43 percent short, 19 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.
Corn maturity reached 96 percent this week, 8 days ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn harvested for grain reached 30 percent statewide, 5 days ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of the average. Moisture content of field corn being harvested for grain was at 19 percent. Corn condition declined slightly to 48 percent good to excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 94 percent this week, 3 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of the average. Soybeans harvested reached 52 percent, 1 day ahead of last year and 1 week ahead of the average as Iowa farmers were able to harvest 28 percent of the State’s soybeans during the week ending October 8, 2023. Soybean condition rated 48 percent good to excellent.
Pasture condition rated 16 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as generally good, but some producers continued to haul hay and water to their livestock on pasture.
Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
The first week of October remained unseasonably warm though temperatures took a nose-dive towards the end of the reporting period; the statewide average temperature was 60.3 degrees, 5.7 degrees above normal. Western Iowa received above-average rainfall totals with unseasonably dry conditions continuing across Iowa’s eastern two-thirds.
Strong southerly winds and sunshine pushed Sunday (1st) afternoon temperatures into the low 90s across much of Iowa. Spotty clouds filtered in overnight into Monday (2nd) as morning lows dropped through the 60s with lighter southeasterly winds. Daytime temperatures rose back into the upper 80s and low 90s with mid 80s reported in eastern Iowa. Cloudy skies developed into Tuesday (3rd) morning as gusty southerly winds pumped moisture north in advance of a strong cold front. An initial line of showers formed in western Iowa during the afternoon hours as temperatures over Iowa’s eastern half held in the 80s; clouds and light rain produced upper 70s and low 80s in western Iowa. A strong line of thunderstorms fired along the cold front as it pushed over the Iowa-Nebraska border just after sunset, leading to a few initial severe-warned cells. Showers expanded through central and eastern Iowa, though a lack of atmospheric energy allowed the main line to lose strength overnight into Wednesday (4th) as the cold front pushed out of eastern Iowa. Rainfall totals reported at 7:00 am showed widespread amounts of 0.50-inch or more with 22 stations measuring at least an inch in west-central and northwest Iowa. Much of western Iowa observed at least 0.20 inch with lesser totals moving east. Skies across eastern Iowa remained mostly clear through the day with cloudy conditions developing west. High temperatures varied from the low 80s along the Iowa-Illinois border to mid 60s northwest with westerly winds.
Thursday (5th) began chilly across portions of Iowa as temperatures dropped into the low to mid 40s at many stations. Stronger northwesterly winds developed through the day, holding highs in the low 60s northwest to mid 70s southeast. Clouds increased in western Iowa early on Friday (6th) as very light showers pushed through the state. The disturbance continued through eastern Iowa before exiting the state after the noon hour. Stations in western Iowa collected totals that were less than 0.10 inch while higher amounts were observed in eastern Iowa where totals ranged from 0.20 inch at New Hampton (Chickasaw County) to 0.32 inch in Lowden (Cedar County). Overcast conditions persisted for the rest of the day with unseasonably cool highs in the low 50s; the statewide average high was 55 degrees, 12 degrees below normal. Overnight conditions were quiet as clouds cleared over most of Iowa into Saturday (7th). Winds shifted to the west as daytime highs rose to the upper 50s and low 60s. Calm to light winds and clear skies in northwest Iowa allowed for several stations to drop below freezing into Sunday (8th) morning with low to mid 40s farther east where cloud cover was present; the statewide average low was 38 degrees, five degrees below normal.
Weekly precipitation totals ranged from a trace at several stations to 1.85 inches in Little Sioux (Harrison County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.34 inch while the normal is 0.65 inch. Spencer Municipal Airport (Clay County) reported the week’s high temperature of 95 degrees on the 1st, 25 degrees above normal. Sibley (Osceola County) reported the week’s low temperature of 29 degrees on the 8th, 10 degrees below normal.