Unseasonably cold temps continue in Iowa

As temperatures dipped below normal across much of the state, Iowa farmers managed to find 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Nov. 11, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting corn and soybeans, baling stalks, applying anhydrous and manure, repairing tile, and fall tillage in areas where the ground was not too frozen.

Topsoil moisture levels across Iowa rated 1 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 85 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 2 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 21 percent surplus. In west central Iowa ratings were 79 percent adequate and 21 percent surplus.

Eighty-three percent of the state’s corn for grain crop has been harvested, three days behind the five-year average. Farmers in north central Iowa have harvested 91 percent of their corn for grain while farmers in the southwest have 36 percent of their corn for grain remaining to be harvested. Moisture content of field corn being harvested averaged 16 percent.

Soybean harvest was 94 percent complete, three days behind last year and four days behind the average.

Feedlots and pastures remain excessively wet and frozen in some areas. Livestock were stressed by extremely cold weekend temperatures.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Dr Justin Glisan, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – Iowa experienced an unseasonably cold week with the statewide average temperature almost 10 degrees colder than normal. Portions of northern and eastern Iowa observed wetter than normal conditions with southern Iowa generally drier than expected. The statewide average precipitation was 0.49 inches, just below the week’s normal of 0.51 inches.

A low pressure system tracked northeast through Iowa on Monday, Nov. 5, bringing statewide measurable rainfall. Many stations across northern Iowa received accumulations between 0.25 and 0.50 inches; Fort Dodge (Webster County) reported a 24-hour measurement of 0.74 inches. Daytime highs were generally in the mid-40s with cloud cover keeping overnight lows in the upper 30s and 40s. Showers lingered across northeastern Iowa into Tuesday; rainfall totals topped out at 0.10 inches.

Wednesday was relatively quiet with cloudy skies and highs in the mid-30s. Measurable snow fell across portions of Iowa late Thursday into Friday, Nov.8-9. Accumulations averaged between 1 to 2 inches; Donnellson (Lee County) observed 2.4 inches. High temperatures plunged into the upper teens in the northwest to upper 20s in the southeast. Dubuque (Dubuque County) observed a 28 degree high, breaking the record cold high of 32 degrees set in 1973. Overnight lows fell into the single digits, averaging 16 to 20 degrees below normal, breaking records in some locations; Lamoni (Decatur County) and Ottumwa (Wapello County) observed lows of 9 degrees, breaking two 1926 records of 11 and 15 degrees, respectively.

Saturday was chilly with highs in the mid to upper 20s. Overnight lows Sunday again fell into the single digits. Measurable precipitation was not reported over the weekend.

Fort Madison (Davis County) observed the week’s high of 51 degrees on Nov. 5, 4.7 degrees below average. Estherville (Emmet County) reported the week’s low of 2 degrees on the Nov.10, 24 degrees below normal.

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