Crop report isn’t getting any better

Most of Iowa experienced cooler than normal temperatures and below normal precipitation during the week ending Sept. 8, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Fieldwork activities included harvesting hay and seed corn, chopping corn silage, seeding cover crops and preparing machinery for corn for grain and soybean harvest.

Topsoil moisture condition statewide was rated 5 percent very short, 26 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 7k percent very short, 16 percent short, 75 percent adequate  and 2 percent surplus. Areas in 28 counties were rated as D1 moderate drought according to the Sept. 3 U.S. Drought Monitor due to the persistent lack of rain in parts of Iowa.

Subsoil moisture condition across the state was rated 5 percent very short, 24 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. In west central Iowa, subsoil moisture condition rated 6 percent very short, 14 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus.

Ninety-one percent of the corn crop was in or beyond the dough stage, two weeks behind last year and 12 days behind the 5-year average. Sixty percent of the crop reached the dented stage, two weeks behind last year and 9 days behind average. Four percent of corn had reached maturity, 11 days behind average. Corn condition rated 63 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-four percent of the soybean crop has started setting pods, 18 days behind last year and nearly 2 weeks behind average. Fifteen percent of the crop has begun  coloring, 12 days behind last year and 9 days behind average. Soybean condition rated 61 percent good to excellent.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 76 percent, nearly one week behind average. Pasture condition declined from the previous week to 42 percent good to excellent.

Iowa preliminary weather summary provided b Justin Glisan, Ph.D, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – Drier than normal conditions prevailed across most of Iowa during the first week of September; precipitation deficits were under three-quarters of an inch across much of the state with only the southwest corner of Iowa reporting above average totals.

Temperatures were generally seasonable with departures of one to two degrees above and below average in parts of western and eastern Iowa, respectively. The statewide average temperature was 66.8 degrees, 1.8 degrees below normal.

After a storms overnight Sunday, July 1,  was uneventful across Iowa with high temperatures reaching the mid to upper 70s under cloudy skies. Overnight lows into Monday  dipped into the mid-60s. Partly sunny skies and a southerly wind helped boost temperatures into the low 80s on Labor Day.

Shortly after midnight on Tuesday, Sept. 3,  thunderstorms, some of which were strong, formed in northeastern Iowa and quickly moved into Illinois. Additional showers and thunderstorms moved through Iowa during the late morning and afternoon hours, bringing measurable rain across the state’s northern half. The highest rain totals were reported in northeastern Iowa with Lansing and Waukon (Allamakee County) observing 1.53 inches and 1.34 inches, respectively.

Wednesday was a cool and mostly sunny day across Iowa. Highs were in the low 70s, up to 14 degrees below average at certain locations. The statewide average high was 74 degrees, five degrees below normal.

Thursday, Sept. 5, started off cool and sunny with comfortable conditions into the early afternoon before a low pressure center over Minnesota pulled a warm front through Iowa. The arrival of the front brought warm and humid conditions through the evening hours before a cold front cleared the state into Friday (6th) morning. Winds shifted into a northerly direction under sunny skies. High temperatures peaked in the upper 70s and lower 80s.

Saturday,Sept. 7,  began mostly clear until showers moved through the state in the afternoon hours. Thunderstorms formed in southern Iowa during the nighttime hours and lingered into Sunday morning. Rainfall totals at 7 am were highest in southwestern Iowa with Shenandoah (Page County) reporting 2.56 inches; over ten stations reported totals above one inch with the statewide average rainfall of 0.41 inch.

Weekly rainfall totals ranged from no accumulation at multiple locations to 2.56 inches in Shenandoah (Page County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.50 inch while the normal is 0.84 inch. The week’s high temperature of 92 degrees was reported  Sept. 3 in Donnellson (Lee County), 11 degrees above average. Elkader (Clayton County) and Manchester (Delaware County) reported the week’s low temperature of 45 degrees on Sept. 6, on average seven degrees below normal.

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