Soil temperatures declines after wet, cool week

Rain, snow, and below normal temperatures prevented planting across most of Iowa late in the week ending April 30, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were only 3.0 days suitable for fieldwork. Temperatures dropped into the 20s in parts of Iowa. Many producers are waiting for warmer weather before planting corn and soybeans. For corn already planted, some concerns about crop emergence were reported.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 63 percent adequate and 37 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa were similar, rating 65 percent adequate and 35 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 1 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 28 percent surplus. In west central Iowa subsoil moisture ratings were 1 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 23 percent surplus. East central and south central Iowa have the highest subsoil moisture levels with 40 percent or more rated surplus.

Statewide, 28 percent of expected corn acreage has been planted. This is more than a week behind last year, but only two days behind the 5-year average. Southeastern Iowa farmers have planted more than half their corn acreage while farmers in the northern third of Iowa have planted less than one-fifth of their corn acreage. Two percent of the soybean acreage has been planted, two days behind average. Eighty-two percent of the state’s oat crop has been planted, moving one day ahead of the average for the first time this year. Oats emerged reached 45 percent, one day behind average.

Pasture condition rated 2 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 20 percent fair, 61 percent good, and 15 percent excellent. Pastures are green, but growth slowed with recent cool temperatures. There were no reported livestock issues for cows and calves in pastures, but mud issues were reported with outside feedlots.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship – The reporting week began with warm and dry weather with high temperatures mostly in the 70s on Sunday and Monday, April 23-24. Rain fell statewide on Tuesday while daytime highs reached only the mid-40s northwest to 80 degrees at Davenport and Burlington.

The remainder of the week was wet and unseasonably cold with daytime highs mostly in the 40s. A hard freeze occurred over the north one-third of the state on Friday morning, April 28, with temperatures as low as 22 degrees at Spencer and Mason City.

Rain fell across the east one-half of Iowa on Wednesday and the eastern quarter of the state on Thursday with some snow mixed in across the northeast. Friday brought rain to the southeast three-fourths of Iowa with amounts approaching an inch over parts of the southwest. Rain fell over all but extreme northeast Iowa on Saturday with rain amounts nearing two inches in the extreme southeast. Rain continued statewide on Sunday, April 30, with greatest amounts over the northwest.

Rain totals for the week ending 7 am Sunday varied from 0.09 inches at New Hampton to 3.14 inches at Montrose in Lee County. There was a statewide average rain amount of 0.95 inches, nearly identical to the weekly normal of 0.96 inches. The heaviest rains fell Sunday and Sunday night and will be included in next week’s summary.

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 6.7 degrees below normal. Soil temperatures as of Sunday, April 30, were averaging in the 40s statewide.

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