Hotter weather moves crops along

Wettest week in seven weeks

USDA, NASSWith the start of school temperatures and humidity climbed, as is often the case in Iowa. Above normal temperatures during the week ending Aug. 24 aided crop development, although rain limited some fieldwork, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Topsoil moisture levels improved and rated 4 percent very short, 19 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus statewide. In west central Iowa, ratings were 5 percent short, 88 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide were rated as 4 percent very short, 21 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 1 percent very short, 12 percent short, 82 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.

IDALSNASS reports that 88 percent of Iowa’s corn crop was in the dough stage or beyond, 17 days ahead of last year and eight days ahead of the five-year average. Corn crop in the dent stage reached 33 percent, 25 percentage points above the previous year but still 9 points below normal. In west central Iowa, 94 percent of the corn is in or past dough stage and 40 percent is in or past dent stage. Across Iowa, three-quarters of the corn acreage was reported in good or excellent condition.

NASS also reports that 94 percent of the soybean crop was setting pods or beyond, 13 percentage points above last year and 1 point above average. West central Iowa is ahead of the average, with 99 percent setting pods. Across the state, 73 percent of the soybean acreage was reported in good to excellent condition.

Alfalfa cutting has been slow with the days of rain. Across the state, 46 percent of the third cutting was done, 11 percentage points below last year and 18 points below the five-year average. West central Iowa is a little behind the state at 43 percent completed.

Preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, IDALS state climatologist: Temperatures were above normal throughout the week. The week ending Aug. 24 was among the warmer weeks of the year with temperatures averaging 1 to 2 degrees above normal over the far southeast portion of the state to 6 degrees above normal in northwest Iowa. The statewide average temperature was 4 degrees above normal. Temperature extremes ranged from a low of 56 degrees Wednesday at Stanley in Buchanan County to afternoon highs of 92 degrees at Sioux City on Thursday and at Stanley on Friday.

Volunteer weather observer John Beltz reported a low temperature for the week ending Friday (Aug. 22) of 70 degrees on Saturday, Aug. 16. He reported a high temperature of 86 degrees on Aug. 19.

Rain fell all over Iowa. Weekly rain totals ranged from 0.33 inch at Persia in Harrison County and 0.35 inch at Blockton in Taylor County to 7.0 inches at Greenfield and 5.97 inches at Saint Ansgar in Mitchell County. Beltz reported a total of 1.37 inches in Jefferson, including 0.51 inch on Aug. 16 and 0.81 inch on Aug. 21.

The statewide average rainfall was 1.85 inches, double the weekly normal of 0.93 inch. This was Iowa’s wettest week in seven weeks.

 

 

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