Temperatures, precip well below normal last week

All of Iowa experienced cooler than normal temperatures and most of the state received below normal precipitation during the week ending August 6, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included applying fungicides and insecticides, hauling grain, and haying.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide declined to 24 percent very short, 32 percent short, and 44 percent adequate. According to the August 1 U.S. Drought Monitor, Iowa’s region of severe drought expanded to include 16 counties in south central and southeast Iowa. Topsoil moisture levels in west central Iowa rated 19 percent very short, 46 percent short and 35 percent adequate.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 19 percent very short, 32 percent short, 48 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa were 13 percent very short, 46 percent short and 41 percent adequate.

Ninety-five percent of Iowa’s corn crop has reached the silking stage, five days ahead of the five-year average. Forty-two percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage, four days behind last year. Corn condition declined to 2 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 53 percent good and 11 percent excellent.

Soybeans blooming reached 89 percent, one week behind last year and three days behind average. Two-thirds of soybeans were setting pods, five days behind last year but equal to average. Soybean condition rated 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 50 percent good and 9 percent excellent.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay was nearly complete. The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 38 percent complete, three days ahead of average. Hay condition dropped to 51 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition also dropped to 34 percent good to excellent. Cooler temperatures improved livestock conditions, but supplemental feeding has been required in some areas.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – It was an unseasonably cool week across Iowa but with less than normal rainfall over most of the state.

Temperatures were near normal on Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 1-2, and well below normal for the remainder of the reporting week. Highs reached into the low 90s over far southeast Iowa on Tuesday and Wednesday but failed to climb out of the 60s over far northwest Iowa on Thursday, Aug. 3, and over much of the western one-third of the state on Saturday afternoon, Aug. 5.

Temperature extremes for the week varied from a Wednesday afternoon high of 93 degrees at Donnellson to morning lows of 46 degrees at several northwest Iowa locations on Friday morning and scattered locations over the southeast one-half of the state on Saturday morning. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 4.6 degrees below normal.

Most of the week’s rain fell on Thursday when thunderstorms dampened all but extreme southeast Iowa. There were some scattered showers on Tuesday over central and northwestern Iowa and some isolated thunderstorms over east central Iowa on Wednesday. Finally, some light rain fell across about the southwest one-half of the state on Saturday. Only a few locations received more than an inch of rain during the week, mostly in west central and northeast Iowa.

Guthrie Center reported the most rain with 1.76 inches while Burlington, Donnellson and Davenport had no rain. The statewide average precipitation was 0.41 inches, or less than one-half of the weekly normal of 0.96 inches.

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