DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Conditions report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.
“Wet weather over the weekend may keep some farmers out of the fields for a few days but the 2019 harvest is officially underway across many parts of the state,” said Secretary Naig. “Today, Gov. Reynolds signed a proclamation that allows the transportation of oversize and overweight loads of grain for 60 days during the harvest season. This is a good reminder that we must all watch for slow moving vehicles on the roadways so everyone has a safe and productive harvest season.”
Iowa farmers experienced wet field conditions as rain continued to fall throughout the State, limiting farmers to 3.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 29, 2019 according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field work activities included seeding cover crops; chopping silage; and harvesting hay, seed corn, soybeans and corn for grain.
Topsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition was rated 1 percent very short, 5 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus.
Ninety percent of the corn crop has reached the dented stage or beyond, 17 days behind last year and nearly 2 weeks behind the 5-year average. Thirty-six percent of the crop reached maturity, 18 days behind last year and 2 weeks behind average. Two percent of corn has been harvested for grain, 11 days behind average. Corn condition rated 65 percent good to excellent.
Eighty-three percent of the soybean crop has begun coloring or beyond, nearly 2 weeks behind last year and 9 days behind average. Forty-nine percent of the crop has begun dropping leaves, 2 weeks behind last year and 9 days behind average. Three percent of soybeans have been harvested, 8 days behind average. Soybean condition rated 63 percent good to excellent.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 89 percent, nearly 2 weeks behind average. Pasture condition rated 45 percent good to excellent. Feedlots remain muddy.
An active weather pattern over the Midwest brought wetter than average conditions across much of Iowa with the state’s southeastern counties reporting totals three to five inches above normal. The northern one-third of Iowa reported near to slightly below average rainfall. Unseasonable warmth also persisted across Iowa with the statewide average temperature at 62.6 degrees, 3.9 degrees warmer than expected.
A low pressure center continued to move through Iowa during the day on Sunday (22nd) leaving measurable rainfall statewide. Totals were highest in southern Iowa, generally between 0.25 inches to 1.00 inch. Creston (Union County) observed 2.10 inches. With the cloudy and rainy conditions, high temperatures during the day remained in the mid to upper 60s.
Monday (23rd) was warm and mostly sunny with southerly winds boosting daytime temperatures. Highs reached into the upper 70s and low 80s with a statewide average high of 78 degrees, six degrees above normal. Overnight lows remained warmer than average overnight, generally in the lower 60s.
Tuesday (24th) was an active weather day as a strong cold front pushed into northwestern Iowa during the afternoon hours. Highs reached into the mid 80s as a strong southerly wind pushed moisture into the state. As the cold front encountered these unstable conditions, discrete thunderstorms fired, some of which turned severe relatively fast. The individual cells eventually coalesced into a continuous band as the front propagated across Iowa. All modes of severe weather were reported with multiple reports of severe hail and straight-line winds; an observer in Holstein (Ida County) reported 1.75 inch diameter hail. There were also preliminary reports of weak tornadoes in Harrison and Ida counties. Measureable rainfall was reported statewide, generally in the range of 0.10 to 0.75. Higher amounts were observed in western Iowa with Atlantic Municipal Airport (Cass County) reporting 4.67 inches.
Wednesday (25th) started with clouds across northern Iowa transitioning to partly sunny conditions across southern Iowa. Highs varied from low 60s north to mid 70s south. Light rain showers moved through the state’s northern half during the late afternoon and early evening hours, though rainfall totals were generally around 0.01 inches.
Overnight lows through Thursday (26th) morning dipped into the mid to upper 40s under generally clear skies. Highs during the day were seasonal, reaching into the low to mid 70s. Multiple waves of thunderstorms moved through eastern Iowa on Friday (27th) with the first round moving through the southeastern counties during the morning.
Strong to severe thunderstorms popped up later in the afternoon and persisted into Saturday (28th) morning. Rain totals ranged from a few tenths of inch at multiple stations to 3.83 inches in Burlington (Des Moines County). Partly to mostly sunny conditions persisted throughout the day though clouds started to move in during the evening hours ahead of the next system to bring rain to the state. Daytime highs were in the upper 60s and low 70s. Showers and thunderstorms moved across much of the eastern half of Iowa into early Sunday (29th) with over 20 stations reporting over an inch at 7 a.m.; Lamoni Municipal Airport (Decatur County) observed 3.00 inches.
Weekly rainfall totals ranged from 0.01 inches in Everly (Clay County) to 5.48 inches at Atlantic Municipal Airport (Cass County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 1.38 inches, while the normal is 0.74 inches. The week’s high temperature of 87 degrees was reported on the 24th in Carroll (Carroll County), 15 degrees above normal. Estherville (Emmet County) reported the week’s low temperature of 41 degrees on the 28th, two degrees below normal.
Information provided by the Iowa Department of Agriculture.