Contact: Dustin Vande Hoef
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa crop progress and condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
“Heavy rains continued to roll across the state which limited any field work and the cool temperatures slowed crop development. Fortunately most of the state avoided a killing frost and warmer temperatures this week will help crops continue to mature,” Northey said.
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
Heavy rains restricted fieldwork to only 2.6 days suitable across Iowa during the week ending September 14, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average temperatures for the week were below normal, slowing crop development. Frost was reported across much of the state but caused little damage. Activities for the week included chopping silage, harvesting hay, and seeding cover crops.
Yet another week of above normal precipitation increased soil moisture levels across the state. Topsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 76 percent adequate, and 20 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 8 percent short, 79 percent adequate, and 12 percent surplus.
Iowa’s corn crop reached 83 percent in or beyond the dent stage, 5 days ahead of the previous year but 4 days behind the five-year average. Nineteen percent of the corn acreage was mature, 3 days ahead of last year but 11 days behind normal. Unchanged from previous 2 weeks, 76 percent of the corn acreage was reported in good to excellent condition. Leaves were changing color on fifty-one percent of soybean crop, 4 days ahead of the previous year, but 4 days behind average. Seventy-four percent of the soybean acreage was in good to excellent condition.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 71 percent complete, just over 2 weeks behind both last year and the five-year average. Pasture condition rated 66 percent good to excellent. Reports indicated hay conditions were wet with concerns that a third cutting may not be completed.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Iowa endured a very cool and wet week. Frost was scattered across much of the state on Saturday (13th) morning with official temperatures dipping to 31 degrees at Elkader, Estherville, Mason City, Sheldon, Sioux Center, Stanley and Webster City. These were the lowest temperatures recorded in Iowa for so early in the season since a 29 degree reading near Elkader on September 10, 1976. Also of note were torrential rains over portions of the southern one-half of the state between Tuesday (9th) morning and Wednesday (10th) morning. Additionally, light to moderate rain fell across all but far southwestern Iowa on Monday (8th) with statewide light rain from Thursday (11th) night into Friday (12th) morning. Weekly rain totals varied from 0.38 inches at Estherville to 5.65 inches at Hartford (Warren Co.). The statewide average precipitation was 2.26 inches while normal for the week is 0.82 inches. This was the fourth consecutive wetter than normal week. The statewide average month-to-date rainfall has already exceeded the normal for the entire month. Temperatures were below normal excepting a brief warm period from Monday afternoon through Tuesday. Sidney recorded the highest temperature with a high of 85 degrees on Monday. Temperatures were far below normal from Thursday through the weekend with daytime highs only in the forties in many areas on Friday. Overall, temperatures for the week averaged 9.0 degrees below normal.