Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

Another dry week in Iowa

The week ending Sunday was Iowa’s driest week since mid-February
Sep 12, 2017

DES MOINES — It was another dry week in Iowa with only localized showers during the week ending Sunday, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

“Farmers continue to gear up for another harvest and we’re seeing more activity in fields across the state as about 15 percent of corn and 8 percent of soybeans have reached maturity,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “Moving into harvest season, the crop is very variable across the state with 60 percent of corn and 61 percent of soybeans rated as good to excellent condition.”

The Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report is released weekly from April through October by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service and is 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.

According to the report summary:

During the week ending Sept. 10, 2017, statewide there were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included cutting hay, chopping corn for silage, seeding cover crops, hauling grain, and preparing for grain harvest.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 17 percent very short, 32 percent short, 51 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. South central and southeast Iowa continue to be the driest parts of the state with over 80 percent of topsoil moisture rated short to very short.

Subsoil moisture levels rated 19 percent very short, 34 percent short, 47 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus.

Seventy-six percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage or beyond, three days behind the five-year average. Fifteen percent of corn had reached maturity, six days behind last year and eight days behind average. Corn condition rated 60 percent good to excellent.

Forty-seven percent of soybeans were turning color, one day behind average. Eight percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, four days behind average. Soybean condition rated 61 percent good to excellent.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 95 percent complete, over one week ahead of last year. There were some reports of producers starting to cut their fourth crop of alfalfa.

Pasture conditions declined to 41 percent poor to very poor due to continued dry conditions slowing growth.

Livestock conditions remained good, with reports of cattlemen weaning calves.


Weather summary

It was a very dry week across Iowa with mostly below normal temperatures.

Very light rain fell over portions of north central and northeast Iowa on Sept. 4 and 5, with Britt reporting the most rain with only 0.13 inches. Thunderstorms were scattered over portions of northwest and far western Iowa the evening of Sept. 9 into the morning of Sept. 10, with a maximum of 0.63 inches of rain reported at Akron. Otherwise, no rain fell at all over most of the southern two-thirds of Iowa during the week.

The statewide average rainfall was 0.03 inches while normal for the week is 0.84 inches.

This was the driest week since mid-February.

Meanwhile, temperatures were above normal Sept. 3 and again Sept. 9. In between, unseasonably cool weather prevailed for the workweek, especially on Sept. 5 and 6 when daytime highs were only in the 60s in most areas.

Temperature extremes for the week varied from an afternoon high Sept. 3 of 88 degrees at Oskaloosa to a morning low Sept. 7 of 35 degrees at Stanley.

The statewide average temperature was 4.0 degrees below normal for the week.

The weather summary is provided by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, with the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship.

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