Good weather for farmers so far; rain needed soon

Dry and hot conditions helped crop development and fieldwork progress during the week ending June 11, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork, the highest number of days suitable so far this year. However, Iowa could use rain in the next week, as some crops are showing signs of stress due to the dry conditions. Activities for the week included cutting and baling hay, spraying herbicides and side-dressing corn with nitrogen, and planting and re-planting.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 7 percent very short, 33 percent short, 59 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa rated 5 percent very short, 36 percent short, 57 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Southeastern Iowa reported the lowest levels of topsoil moisture with 56 percent rated short to very short.

Subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 16 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 1 percent very short, 10 percent short, 85 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.

Ninety-six percent of Iowa’s corn crop has emerged, one week behind last year. Seventy-seven percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition. Soybean planting reached 98 percent complete, more than weeks ahead of the 5-year average. Soybean emergence reached 85 percent, two days behind last year but four days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 73 percent good to excellent. Oats headed reached 44 percent this week, five days behind last year and two days behind average. Oat condition rated 77 percent good to excellent.

A full week of dry weather allowed Iowa farmers to complete nearly one-third of the State’s first cutting of alfalfa during the week to reach 86 percent complete. Hay condition decreased slightly to 83 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition decreased to 71 percent good to excellent. There were scattered reports of stress on livestock due to the heat.

Iowa preliminary weather summary, byHarry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship – It was a very warm and dry week across Iowa. Once again there were no widespread rain events during the week.

There were a few isolated thunderstorms across the southern one-quarter of Iowa on Sunday, June 4, and the northern one-quarter on Wednesday, June 7. The most rain came on Thursday when thunderstorms were scattered across the northeast one-half of the state. Finally, there were a few isolated storms over the northeast one-third of Iowa on Friday.

Rock Valley reported the most rain for the week with 1.31 inches, most of which came on Thursday. No measurable rain fell over most of Iowa. The statewide average rainfall was 0.04 inches while normal for the week is 1.19 inches. The statewide average precipitation for the past two weeks (0.09 inches) is the lowest two-week total recorded during the growing season since 2002 (Aug. 25 to Sept 8).

The reporting week began and ended with unseasonably hot weather. Humidity was quite low through Thursday morning with a large diurnal fluctuation in daily temperatures from cool nights to much warmer days. Humidity increased beginning on Thursday and stayed high for the remainder of the week, keeping overnight lows in the 70s on Friday and Saturday nights. Daytime highs reached into the 90s somewhere in Iowa every day except Tuesday, while nighttime lows fell into the 40s in some locations every night from Sunday night through Wednesday night (June 4-7).

Temperature extremes for the week varied from a high of 95 degrees at Little Sioux on Sunday to a low of 44 degrees at Chariton on Wednesday morning. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from two degrees above normal in the far southeast to 10 degrees above normal in the far northwest with a statewide average of 5.3 degrees above normal.

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