Corn, soybeans nearly three weeks behind average year

Iowa farmers continue to battle wet field conditions as another week of heavy rainfall limited farmers to only 1.3 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the week ending June 2, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. The southern third of Iowa had 0.5 day suitable for fieldwork or less for the second week in a row.

Topsoil moisture levels across the state rated 50 percent adequate and 50 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 55 percent adequate and 45 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated  49 percent adequate and 51 percent surplus. In west central Iowa the ratings were 1 percent short, 57 percent adequate and 42 percent surplus.

Eighty percent of the expected corn crop has been planted, nearly three  weeks later than the 5-year average. This is the smallest amount of corn planted by June 2 since 1982 when 76 percent of the expected crop had been planted. There were comments that some of these expected corn acres may go to soybeans or prevented planting. Fifty-eight percent of the crop has emerged, 12 days behind last year and 13 days behind average.

Forty-one percent of the expected soybean crop has been planted, 18 days later than last year and average. This is the smallest percent of soybeans planted by June 2 since 1993 when just 39 percent of the expected crop had been planted. Seventeen percent of the crop has emerged, two  weeks behind last year and 13 days behind average.

Only 4 percent of the state’s first cutting of alfalfa hay has been completed, more  than two weeks behind average. Hay condition rated 60 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition decreased slightly to 62 percent good to excellent.

Preliminary weather summary provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – Iowa continued to experience  wetter than normal conditions as a persistent weather pattern locked in over the Midwest brought multiple low pressure systems through the state. Temperatures were near normal across a majority of Iowa with cooler conditions in northwestern Iowa and slightly warmer conditions in parts of eastern Iowa.

After an unseasonably warm and sunny afternoon, thunderstorms moved through Iowa late Sunday  night through Memorial Day (May 26-27). Isolated severe thunderstorms moved through west central Iowa early in the day with reports of straight-line wind damage to trees from Page County to Polk County; 70 mph wind gusts were reported in Menlo (Guthrie County).

Around mid-afternoon, an isolated severe storm in northeastern Iowa produced multiple reports of tornadoes from Charles City (Floyd County) into Howard County. Weak tornadoes with minor structural damage were also reported across Van Buren, Des Moines, and Lee Counties, associated with a fast moving severe storm in the evening hours.

Tuesday  was another active day with additional rounds of thunderstorms moving through the state. There were also severe hail and high wind reports across southern Iowa; wind damage was reported to multiple structures at an Iowa State University research farm in Lucas County.

Two-day rain totals were largest across the state’s southern third where multiple stations reported above average totals between two to four inches. More than 40 stations reported totals above two inches with Salem (Henry County) observing 4.70 inches. Rainfall totals across the rest of Iowa were generally between 0.50-1.00 inch.

A low pressure system located in eastern Nebraska slowly propagated through Iowa on Wednesday, May 29, spinning up weak land spout tornadoes in nine counties. Structural and tree damage was reported along with one injury in Poweshiek County. Strong thunderstorms formed later in the day across eastern Iowa, producing locally heavy downpours. Parkersburg (Butler County) reported 1.35 inches, 1.19 inches morethan average.

The low finally exited on Thursday, producing very isolated and slow moving storms in western Iowa. Rainfall ranged from 0.10 inch in Rockwell City (Calhoun County) to 0.53 inch in Creston (Union County).

Friday, May 31, was the week’s warmest day, especially in north central Iowa, where highs were 10-12 degrees warmer than average. Spotty thundershowers developed during the evening hours though they quickly dissipated.

Another line of showers and thunderstorms sped through Iowa in the early morning hours on Saturday. Rainfall totals were generally light with Atlantic (Cass County) reporting 0.42 inch. The rest of Saturday was relatively quiet statewide with highs reaching into the low to mid 70s across the state’s northern half and into the low 80s across southern Iowa, a few degrees warmer than average. Overnight lows into Sunday, May 2, were generally in the mid to upper 50s. These readings were cooler than average, especially under clear skies.

Weekly rainfall totals ranged from 0.51 inch in Webster City (Hamilton County) to 5.14 inches in Keosauqua (Van Buren County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 2.11 inches, while the normal is 1.08 inches.

Temperatures averaged 64.8 degrees, 0.10 degree cooler than normal. The week’s high temperature of 89 degrees was observed at Hampton (Franklin County), Iowa Falls (Hardin County), and Waterloo (Black Hawk County) on May 31, on average 13 degrees warmer than normal. Cresco (Howard County) reported the week’s low temperature of 43 degrees on May 2, eight degrees cooler than average.

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