Last week was wettest of last 25 weeks in Iowa

First crop condition report of the 2017 growing season

A rainy week prevented field work across most of Iowa during the week ending April 2, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were just 0.6 days suitable for fieldwork, with only northeast, central and southeast Iowa reporting 1.0 or more days suitable. Fertilizer, manure, and anhydrous applications were made as conditions allowed.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 67 percent adequate, and 26 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa were 1 percent short, 65 percent adequate and 34 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 2 percent very short, 6 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 20 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa were 1 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 27 percent surplus.

South central Iowa reported the highest surplus subsoil moisture level at 38 percent, although just a week ago, according to the USDA’s U.S. Drought Monitor, portions of the area were still considered to be in a moderate drought along with much of southeast Iowa.

Livestock conditions are generally good although muddy lots are reported to be an issue. Calving is already complete for some cattle operations.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship – It was a cloudy and damp week across Iowa.

Rain fell statewide on Wednesday and Thursday, April 29-30, with the heaviest precipitation falling across the south one-half of Iowa on Wednesday where rain amounts over an inch were common. Light rain also fell over southeast Iowa Monday into Tuesday morning (April 27-28) and over much of the state on Sunday, April 2.

Weekly precipitation totals varied from 0.25 inches at Rock Valley in the far northwest to 2.39 inches at Montrose in the far southeast. The statewide average rainfall was 1.01 inches while normal for the week is 0.61 inches. This was the wettest week in 25 weeks (early October).

Temperatures were mostly in the 40s and 50s with little change from day to day owing to persistent cloud cover. The weekly temperature extremes all came from northern Iowa where occasional clear skies allowed daytime highs to climb higher and nighttime lows to fall lower.

Lowest temperatures of 27 degrees occurred at Battle Creek, Cherokee, Mapleton, Sheldon and Sioux City on Tuesday morning and also at Cresco, Decorah, Elkader and Vinton on Saturday morning.

Highest temperatures came on the same dates, and in some cases the same locations. Temperatures reached 63 degrees at Le Mars and Sioux City on Tuesday and also at Decorah on Saturday.

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from eight degrees above normal in far northwest Iowa to one degree below normal over the extreme southeast.

Soil temperatures as of Sunday, April 2, were averaging in the mid-40s over nearly all of Iowa.

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