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Iowa Crop • Weather Report


June 2, 2011
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.

“The showers over the past week have slowed the planting progress across much of the state. Farmers are looking for dryer weather this week so they can finish planting and t weed control,” Northey said.


Persistent precipitation almost completely stopped progress in south central Iowa while allowing only limited progress in the remainder of the State. Localized heavy rains have caused erosion and ponding with farmers along the Missouri River keeping an eye on rising water levels. High winds during the week prevented spraying in weedy fields.

There were 2.1 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. South central Iowa had only 0.60 day suitable while northeast Iowa had 3.3 days suitable. Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 68 percent adequate, and 32 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 27 percent surplus

Ninety-nine percent of Iowa’s corn acreage has been planted, equal to last year. South central Iowa still has more than 5 percent of their corn crop remaining to be planted. Ninety percent of the State’s corn crop has emerged, behind last year’s 93 percent, but ahead of the average 85 percent. The first corn condition ratings of the crop year stand at 0 percent very poor, 1 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 65 percent good, and 15 percent excellent. Soybean planting is 87 percent complete, trailing last year’s 89 percent and the normal pace of 88 percent. South central Iowa lags 33 percentage points behind the State average with only 54 percent of soybeans planted. Fifty-two percent of the State’s soybean crop has emerged, behind last year’s 57 percent but slightly ahead of the five-year average of 50 percent. Oats have begun heading with 3 percent of the crop headed compared with 9 percent in 2010. Oat condition remained steady with 0 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 66 percent good, and 13 percent excellent. With weather conditions that have not been conducive to cutting hay, first cutting alfalfa hay harvest, at 6 percent complete, is well behind last year’s 41 percent and the normal 23 percent. The condition of the hay crop is reported at 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 55 percent good, and 12 percent excellent.

Pasture and range condition was 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 19 percent excellent. Variable temperatures and additional rain have caused some stress for young livestock housed outdoors as feedlots are quite muddy.


By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

The past week began with warmer than usual weather from Sunday (22nd) through Tuesday (24th) with afternoon highs reaching 86 degrees at Belle Plaine and Keosauqua on Sunday. Thunderstorms brought rain and some severe weather to the east one-half of Iowa on Sunday afternoon while Monday was mostly dry. The weather transitioned to a much cooler pattern late Tuesday with statewide showers and thunderstorms on both Tuesday and Wednesday with some severe storms over central and east central Iowa on Tuesday. Rainfall was locally heavy at mid-week in parts of central, south central and southeast Iowa with lighter rain persisting over eastern Iowa into Thursday morning. Temperatures were well below normal from Wednesday through Saturday night with a rapid warm-up commencing on Sunday (29th). Low temperatures in the 40s were common on Thursday and Friday mornings with Elkader reporting a Friday morning low down to 35 degrees. Light rain showers were scattered over much of Iowa on Friday and Saturday with widespread thunderstorms, bringing some high winds and hail to southeast Iowa, on Sunday morning. Rainfall totals for the week varied from 0.57 inches at Sibley to 4.11 inches at Osceola. The statewide average precipitation for the week was 1.90 inches or nearly double the normal of 1.01 inches. Temperatures averaged 1.8 degrees below normal for the week as a whole. Finally, soil temperatures as of Sunday (29th) were averaging near sixty degrees statewide.

Article Photos

Bill Northey
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture



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