A sure sign of spring – the first NASS crop report

Cool temperatures and rain throughout Iowa kept fields from drying out enough for fieldwork during the week ending April 7, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Statewide there was just 0.8 day suitable for fieldwork. Fieldwork activities were limited with some farmers spreading manure and applying dry fertilizer on fields able to support the equipment.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated  44 percent adequate and 56 percent surplus. Topsoil moisture levels in west central Iowa rated 57 percent adequate and 43 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels across Iowa  rated 46 percent adequate and 54 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa rated 51 percent adequate and 49 percent surplus.

Two percent of oats have been planted statewide, nine days behind the 5-year average and nearly a week behind last year. This is the smallest percent planted by this time since 2008.
Cover crops and hay continue to green as warmer temperatures induced growth. Livestock and feedlot conditions have improved, but feedlots remain muddy.

Iowa preliminary weather summary provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – April’s first week was wetter than normal across Iowa’s northwest quadrant with the rest of state experiencing unseasonably dry conditions; measurable rain was reported every day.

Temperatures were generally above average by two to three degrees, though cooler in the southeast corner. A series of weak cold fronts moved through Iowa at the beginning of the week, the first of which occurred late Monday  into Tuesday  morning, April 1-2. Much of Iowa saw measurable rainfall from another frontal passage on Wednesday. Rainfall totals through 7 am on Thursday were above one inch at eight stations in northwest Iowa; Storm Lake (Buena Vista County) reported 1.73 inches.

Daytime temperatures cooled into the mid-40s across northern Iowa. Friday, April 5, was warm with highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s. Rain fell across northern Iowa overnight into Saturday, which was the week’s warmest day. Highs were 15 to 20 degrees warmer than average, reaching into the upper 70s in southern Iowa.

A low pressure system moved through Iowa Saturday night into Sunday, April 7. Dubuque (Dubuque County) reported 0.75 inches of rain. Thundershowers reformed in eastern Iowa on Sunday evening.

Preliminary rainfall totals for the week averaged 0.54 inches, while the normal is 0.65 inches. Atlantic (Cass County) and Sac City (Sac County) observed the week’s high of 78 degrees on April 6, on average 20 degrees above normal. Denison (Crawford County) and Little Sioux (Harrison County) reported a low of 16 degrees on April 1, 15 degrees below average. Orange City (Sioux County) reported the highest rainfall total of the week at 2.35 inches.

Four-inch soil temperatures have warmed into the mid to upper 50s across the southern two-thirds of Iowa; soil temperatures in northern Iowa are in the upper 40s and lower 50s.

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