For farmers, more of the same

Iowa farmers had mostly dry field conditions and below normal temperatures during the week ending Sept. 1, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork. Fieldwork activities included wrapping up fungicide and insecticide applications and harvesting hay. There were a few comments of farmers starting to chop corn silage.

Topsoil moisture condition across the state was rated 4 percent very short, 26 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Areas in 12 counties within the east central and southeast Iowa districts were rated as D1 moderate drought according to the August 29, 2019, U.S. Drought Monitor. Topsoil moisture levels in west central Iowa were rated 5 percent very short, 9 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture condition statewide was rated 4 percent very short, 25 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 7 percent very short, 10 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.

Eighty-six percent of the corn crop was in or beyond the dough stage, 12 days behind last year and 10 days behind the 5-year average. Forty-one percent of the crop reached the dented stage, two weeks behind last year and nine days behind average. One percent of corn had reached maturity, 11 days behind average. Corn condition rated 62 percent good to excellent.

Ninety percent of the soybean crop has started setting pods, 18 days behind last year and 12 days behind average. Three percent of the crop has started coloring, 11 days behind average. Soybean condition rated 60 percent good to excellent.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 64 percent, nine days behind average.

Pasture condition rated 45 percent good to excellent. Livestock experienced little stress this past week.

Weather summary provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – August ended much like it began with unseasonable dryness across much of Iowa as well as cooler-than-normal temperatures. Rainfall departures were generally under an inch statewide. Temperatures were well below normal with the statewide average temperature of 65.1 degrees, 5.8 degrees below normal.

A low pressure system moving through Missouri brought waves of showers across eastern Iowa Sunday afternoon, Aug. 25, and into the evening hours before dissipating. Overcast skies kept temperatures in the upper 60s and lower 70s with a light wind from the east-southeast. The average statewide temperature was 72 degrees, nine degrees below normal.

Storms reformed during the early morning hours on Monday, bringing much needed rain to eastern Iowa; three stations near Burlington (Des Moines County) reported over two inches. Tuesday, Aug. 27, was partly to mostly sunny with brisk westerly winds. Temperatures reached into the mid to upper 70s as a large dome of high pressure over Missouri kept conditions pleasant into Wednesday. After sunset, cloud cover began to creep into southwestern Iowa in advance of the next disturbance to impact weather across the state.

A small cluster of thunderstorms formed across west central Iowa in the early morning hours of Thursday, Aug. 29. The storms moved through central Iowa before heading southeast. As the thunderstorms approached the Iowa-Missouri border, quarter-size hail was reported in Bloomfield (Davis County). As the system cleared, warm and muggy conditions were reported across Iowa. Highs reached into the mid-80s across the state’s southern half. Isolated thunderstorms re-fired across southwestern Iowa just before midnight. Twenty-four hour rain totals at 7 am on Friday ranged from 0.01 inches in Atlantic (Cass County) to 1.85 inches at Rathbun Dam (Appanoose County).

Partly cloudy conditions prevailed into early Saturday, Aug. 31, before light showers moved through Iowa during the day. Rain totals were generally under 0.25 inches with higher amounts in northwestern Iowa; Sioux City (Woodbury County) reported 0.39 inches. Cloudy skies kept daytime highs in the mid-60s, 10 degrees cooler than average. Clouds began clearing early Sunday (1st) morning with light variable winds and overnight lows in the mid to upper 50s.

Weekly rainfall totals ranged from 0.01 inches at multiple stations to 2.60 inches in Burlington (Des Moines County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.44 inches, less than half of the normal 0.90 inches. The week’s high temperature of 91 degrees was reported Aug. 29 in Red Oak (Montgomery County), eight degrees above normal. Cresco (Howard County) reported the week’s low temperature of 45 degrees on Sept. 1, nine degrees below average.

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