One-fifth normal rainfall in Iowa last week

Hot, dry weather prevailed across Iowa during the week ending July 9, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included hauling grain, applying herbicides, cultivating, and haying.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 12 percent very short, 28 percent short, 58 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa rated 14 percent very short, 40 percent short, 45 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 7 percent very short, 22 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. More than one-half of southeast Iowa’s topsoil has fallen to the very short moisture level category with almost one third of the subsoil also in the very short moisture level category. More than one-third of the subsoil in west central Iowa is short or very short in moisture. Ratings are 5 percent very short, 30 percent short, and 65 percent adequate.

Seven percent of Iowa’s corn crop has reached the silking stage, six days behind the five-year average. As corn in the state begins pollination, many reporters mentioned the need for rain in the next few weeks. Seventy-seven percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition.

One-third of the soybean crop was blooming, with five percent of soybeans setting pods, three days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 67 percent good to excellent.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 53 percent complete, four days behind last year but five days ahead of average. Hay condition rated 67 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition continues to decline with 55 percent good to excellent. Feedlots were reported to be in good condition as a result of the dry weather, but livestock were stressed from the heat.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship – Temperatures on the first and last day of the week were slightly below normal with hotter than normal weather in-between.

Daytime highs were mostly in the 80s on Sunday, July 2, and Friday and Saturday, July 7-8. Temperatures in the 90s prevailed over most of the state on Thursday with a mix of 80s and 90s for the rest of the week. Temperature extremes varied from a Saturday morning low of 52 degrees at Cresco to Thursday afternoon highs of 97 degrees at Sioux City and Little Sioux.

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged within a degree of normal over the east to one to three degrees above normal over the west with a statewide average of 1.3 degrees above normal.

Isolated thunderstorms were scattered across the state each afternoon and evening from Sunday through Wednesday, July 2-5, and again over the southeast on Friday morning July 7. Dry weather prevailed on Thursday, Saturday and through the daylight hours on Sunday. About one-third of the state, concentrated over the north, received no rain at all during the week while a few scattered small areas picked up more than an inch of rain. The week’s highest rain total of 1.70 inches was reported just south of Arthur in Ida County and mainly fell on the evening of the Fourth.

The statewide average precipitation was 0.22 inches while normal for the week is 1.07 inches. A widespread area of rain fell late Sunday into Monday morning (one to two inches common) along and east of a Mason City to Burlington line but came too late to be reflected in this week’s weather and crop statistics.

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