Corn, beans more than a week ahead of average season

Iowa farmers had 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 12, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting hay and oats for grain, spraying for aphids, and moving grain.

Topsoil moisture levels across the state rated 12 percent very short, 23 percent short, 62 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Topsoil moisture in west central Iowa rated 10 percent very short, 27 percent short, 62 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 10 percent very short, 21 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels in south central and southeast Iowa remain critical with over 85 percent rated short to very short. In west central Iowa subsoil moisture levels rated 5 percent very short, 21 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

Seventy-three percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage or beyond, nine days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn dented was at 22 percent, nine days ahead of last year. Corn condition rated 75 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-six percent of the soybean crop was blooming with 89 percent setting pods, more than a week ahead of both last year and the average. Soybean condition declined slightly to 72 percent good to excellent.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 47 percent complete, four days behind the previous year but four days ahead of the average. Dry conditions have kept alfalfa regrowth very short following the second cutting. Hay condition fell to 56 percent good to excellent. Pasture conditions declined to 44 percent rated good to excellent. Pasture regrowth remains a concern, especially in the southern two-thirds of the state.

Iowa preliminary weather summary provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – The first full week of August saw warmer conditions for much of Iowa, with average temperatures one to three degrees above normal in most places. Precipitation accumulations were also above average across a swath of Iowa between Webster and Dubuque counties, with some locations reporting rainfall from three to five inches above normal.

Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 6-7, had daytime highs well above average, especially in south-central Iowa, where highs reached the upper 90s. Lamoni (Decatur County) observed the week’s high temperature of 100 degrees. Over this period, a low-pressure system moved slowly across Iowa, bringing measurable precipitation to much of the state, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in Webster and Buchanan counties. Fort Dodge (Webster County) recorded the week’s highest accumulation of 5.95 inches, 5.81 inches above average. Multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms continued into Tuesday, with nearly 20 stations reporting rainfall more than one inch; Guttenberg (Clayton County) observed 2.36 inches of rain, 2.23 inches above normal. A few thunderstorms became severe, with one report of 63 mph wind gusts in Black Hawk County.

Wednesday, July 8,  was a pleasant day statewide, with average highs in the lower 80s. A weak cold front moved across Iowa on Thursday, firing off a few spotty thunderstorms in Iowa’s southeastern quadrant; Cedar Rapids (Linn County) reported 0.07 inches of rain.

Friday  through Sunday, Aug. 10-12, was warm and mostly precipitation free, as a high-pressure system moved into the Midwest. A few thundershowers brought measurable rainfall to a handful of stations; Mount Pleasant reported 0.05 inches on Friday. During this three day stretch, statewide average highs were in the upper 80s, with lower 90s in south-central Iowa.

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