Growing season nearly finished; last crop progress report for ’18

Iowa farmers had 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Nov. 25, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting corn and soybeans, baling stalks, applying manure, and moving grain. Early in the week farmers were doing fall tillage, tile repair, and anhydrous application, but those activities halted as declining temperatures, rain and snow arrived.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 1 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 89 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels across Iowa rated 2 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus. In west central Iowa subsoil moisture levels rated 84 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus.

Ninety-six percent of the state’s corn for grain crop has been harvested, four days behind the five-year average. Farmers in northwest, north central, and central Iowa have harvested 98 percent of their corn for grain while farmers in the southwest have 13 percent of their corn for grain remaining to be harvested. Moisture content of field corn being harvested averaged 16 percent. Soybean harvest was 98 percent complete, nine days behind last year and 12 days behind the average.

Iowa preliminary weather summary provided by Dr Justin Glisan, Ph.D, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – Thanksgiving week was cooler than average for most of Iowa with some locations experiencing seasonal temperatures. Northeastern Iowa was up to six degrees below normal while parts of extreme western Iowa were a few degrees above average.

Most of Iowa also experienced unseasonably dry conditions; widespread measurable precipitation did not fall until after Thanksgiving.

Monday, Nov. 19, was cold across much of Iowa with average highs up to 20 degrees below average. Winds gradually shifted to a southerly direction Tuesday into Wednesday, warming temperatures into the upper 40s and low 50s in the south; northern Iowa observed low to mid 30s.

Thanksgiving Day started with foggy conditions across much of Iowa. Sunny conditions then prevailed across the state with highs reaching into the mid-50s in southwestern Iowa. Rain showers moved into Iowa early Friday (23rd) bringing measurable accumulations statewide. Higher amounts were reported across eastern Iowa with Muscatine (Muscatine County) observing 0.35 inches, 0.27 inches more than average.

Saturday, Nov. 24, was pleasant with highs reaching into the middle 50s. After partly sunny conditions for much of the day, increasing clouds signaled the next major weather system.

A strong low pressure moved into Iowa late Saturday into Sunday with a wintery mix and snow. The system brought winds up to 40 mph and moderate to heavy snowfall across southern Iowa as of the end of the reporting period at 7 am; blizzard conditions and snow accumulations of up to 17 inches were reported in Iowa’s southeastern quadrant after the observation cut-off.

Sioux City (Woodbury County) observed the week’s high of 62 degrees on Nov. 22, 20 degrees warmer than average. Fayette (Fayette County) and Tripoli (Bremer County) reported a low of -3 degrees on Nov.19, 27 degrees colder than average. Davenport (Scott County) reported the highest rainfall total of the week at 1.83 inches.

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