Soybean harvest in progress

There were above average temperatures and scattered rains throughout the state for the week ending Sept. 24, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included starting to harvest corn for grain and soybeans, planting cover crops, spreading manure, hauling grain, and finishing up chopping corn silage, harvesting seed corn, and cutting hay.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 22 percent very short, 27 percent short, 50 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. West central Iowa fared much better, with ratings of 2 percent very short, 14 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 21 percent very short, 33 percent short, 46 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Again, west central Iowa fared better, at 4 percent ery short, 32 percent short, 63 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

Ninety-four percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage or beyond, one week behind last year and three days behind the 5-year average. Fifty-two percent of corn had reached maturity, five days behind average. Corn condition remained the same as last week at 59 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-one percent of soybeans were turning color or beyond, equal to last year and three days ahead of average. Sixty percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, two days behind last year but one day ahead of average. Five percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, two days behind average. Soybean condition improved slightly to 60 percent good to excellent.

There were multiple reports of a fourth cutting of alfalfa hay being cut, and scattered reports of possibly being a fifth cutting in parts of Iowa. Pasture conditions declined to 48 percent poor to very poor. Livestock conditions were normal, although there were reports of water for cattle being an issue in parts of the state due to dry conditions.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship – The past week began with dry weather and seasonal temperatures on Sunday, Sept. 17. Rain was scattered statewide on Monday with light accumulations east and light to moderate rain over the west.

The remainder of the week was unseasonably warm and humid. Daytime highs reached into the mid-90s in some areas from Wednesday through the weekend while overnight lows were in the 70s nearly statewide on Thursday night. Tuesday was dry while thunderstorms brought rain to much of the southeast one-half of Iowa on Wednesday evening into Thursday morning.

Torrential rains fell over portions of Wapello, Jefferson and Scott counties with storm totals including 7.75 inches near Ottumwa, 6.05 inches at Fairfield and as much as 6.76 inches in Davenport. Over much of Wapello and Jefferson counties these Wednesday night rains easily exceeded the totals of the previous three and one-half months combined.
Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23, were dry statewide with the exception of thunderstorms over the extreme northwest corner of the state on Saturday evening. A large area of rain began to move into western Iowa Sunday afternoon but fell too late to be reflected in this week’s statistics.

Rain totals for the week varied from only a trace at Manchester to 7.77 inches just south of Ottumwa. The statewide average rainfall was 0.75 inches, just slightly below the weekly normal of 0.77 inches.

Temperatures averaged 10.4 degrees above normal with extremes ranging from Monday morning lows of 46 degrees at Coggon and Manchester to an afternoon high of 95 degrees at Iowa City on Saturday.

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