Last week was driest week in 11, cooler than normal

Wet conditions kept farmers from finishing up planting during the week ending May 28, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were only 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork. There were scattered reports of corn turning yellow, and replanting of crops in areas with standing water.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 77 percent adequate and 23 percent surplus. Topsoil moisture in west central Iowa rated 1 percent short, 82 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 78 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa were very similar – 79 percent adequate and 21 percent surplus.

Nearly all of Iowa’s corn crop has been planted with only south central Iowa having over 10 percent of the crop remaining to be planted. Corn emerged reached 82 percent, three days behind last year but one day ahead of the 5-year average. Seventy-three percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition.

Soybean planting reached 77 percent complete, five days behind last year. South central Iowa lags behind with 43 percent of the crop yet to be planted. Soybean emergence reached 39 percent, three days behind last year and one day behind average.

The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 21 percent complete, five days behind last year and four days behind average. Hay condition rated 81 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition remained at 82 percent good to excellent. Although livestock conditions were reported as normal with little stress, many feedlots were muddy most of the week.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship – Iowa recorded its driest week in 11 weeks while temperatures were unseasonably cool.

Temperatures were well below normal through Thursday, May 25, before climbing to seasonally normal levels over the weekend. Temperature extremes varied from Thursday morning lows of 37 degrees at Grinnell and Chariton to afternoon highs Friday, May 26, of 84 degrees at Atlantic and Red Oak.

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 5.4 degrees below normal.

There were no widespread heavy rains this past reporting week with only a relatively few locations picking up more than an inch of rain. Light rains were scattered over much of the state on Monday and Tuesday, May 22-23, while locally heavier rains fell Friday and Saturday centered over parts of southwest, central and east central Iowa. Weekly rain totals varied from only a trace at Pocahontas to 1.65 inches at Audubon.

The statewide average precipitation was 0.50 inches or slightly less than one-half of the weekly normal of 1.05 inches.

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