Corn, soybeans doing well

Warm and windy weather with spotty thunderstorms prevailed across Iowa during the week ending June 18, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Those isolated storms left some farmers assessing crop damage from strong winds and hail. Statewide there were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included cutting hay, spraying herbicides, nitrogen side-dressing, and re-planting.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 5 percent very short, 22 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Southwestern Iowa reported the highest levels of topsoil moisture with 96 percent adequate to surplus. Levels in west central Iowa rated 2 precent very short, 25 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 3 percent very short, 15 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Only the northeast and southwest corners of the state saw an increase in subsoil moisture. Many reports mentioned the need for timely rain. Levels in west central Iowa rated 1 percent very short, 10 percent short, 87 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

Seventy-eight percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition. Soybean emergence reached 92 percent, five days behind last year but four days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 74 percent good to excellent.

The first cutting of alfalfa hay reached 94 percent complete this week and second cutting has begun in many areas. Hay condition remained 83 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition decreased slightly to 69 percent good to excellent. Some livestock stress was reported as a result of the heat.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship – The week began with unseasonably hot weather with temperatures averaging 10 or more degrees above normal on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, June 11-13. Temperatures moderated slightly at mid-week but remained well above normal through Saturday, June 17.

Temperature extremes for the week varied from highs of 97 degrees at Little Sioux on Tuesday and at Lamoni on Thursday to Sunday morning lows of 51 degrees at Chariton and Mount Ayr on July 18. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 8.1 degrees above normal.

Showers and thunderstorms were scattered across the state every day. Many areas received some much needed rainfall but a few, mainly in northwest, south central and southeast Iowa saw only light amounts.

Weekly rain totals varied from 0.21 inches at Indianola to 4.65 inches at Corning. The statewide average rainfall was 1.40 inches while normal for the week is 1.19 inches.

There were isolated severe storms on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The most widespread severe weather occurred across about the southeast one-half of Iowa on Thursday with very large hail reported in Franklin, Marion and Page counties. High winds raked the far west/southwest portions of Iowa on Friday while there were more reports of very large hail from Appanoose and Muscatine counties on Saturday.

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