Frequent rain slowed fieldwork in Iowa during the week that ended Sunday, June 22, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Temperatures were above normal for the week, while severe storms with high winds and hail hit much of the state. Statewide there were 2.0 days suitable for fieldwork. West central Iowa farmers had only 1.8 days suitable to work in their fields.
Soil moisture levels improved and went past ideal in some locations. Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 4 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 28 percent surplus. In west central Iowa, topsoil moisture levels rated a little better, with 2 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 21 percent surplus.
Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 1 percent very short, 12 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 4 percent very short, 20 percent short, 64 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus.
Corn condition across the state rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 16 percent fair, 58 percent good and 21 percent excellent. With almost all of Iowa’s soybean acreage emerged, crop condition was rated as 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 18 percent fair, 58 percent good and 18 percent excellent. The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 84 percent complete, well ahead of last year’s 66 percent and 8 percentage points ahead of average. Hay condition was rated 4 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 54 percent good and 17 percent excellent.
Preliminary weather summary: by Harry Hillaker, IDALS state climatologist. The week across Iowa was warm and wet. Monday (June 16) into Tuesday morning nearly all of the northern half of Iowa received more than two inches of rain. The greatest rainfall was 5.14 inches in Peterson in Clay County. Jefferson received 1.63 inches of rain, according to volunteer weather observer John Beltz. High winds broke large trees in some locations.
The northern third of the state received rain again on Wednesday morning, and Wednesday night a storm dumped 4.52 inches of rain on Dubuque. The week finished rainy in southwestern Iowa; Council Bluffs received 4.27 inches of rain the night of Friday, June 20.
Weekly rain totals varied from 0.17 inches at Centerville to 8.08 inches at Hampton. Jefferson received a total of 2.04 inches of rain during the week that ended Friday, June 20, at 6 am. The statewide average precipitation was 3.66 inches, or three times the weekly normal of 1.17 inches. this was the greatest weekly average since early June 2008.
Temperatures were above normal, ranging from morning lows June 16 of 51 degrees at Swea City and Tripoli to a Friday (June 20) afternoon high of 94 at Sidney. In Jefferson, temperatures ranged from a low of 48 degrees June 14 to a high of 87 degrees June 17 and June 19. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 3.3 degrees above normal.