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.
"Farmers continued to make good progress between the scattered rain showers and thunderstorms. Planting is nearly complete and farmers are spraying for weeds and side dressing nitrogen fertilizer," Northey said. "Overall this has been a pretty good spring as farmers have gotten crops in the ground in a timely manner and periodic rainfall has helped replenish some needed soil moisture."
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Warm weather and favorable moisture conditions accelerated crop and pasture growth during the week ending June 1, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork. Other activities for the week included spraying, herbicide application, and nitrogen side dressing.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 14 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 6 percent very short, 25 percent short, 64 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. For the first time this year, southeast Iowa had the driest topsoil with 10 percent in very short condition, while northwest Iowa continued to have the driest subsoil with 21 percent in very short condition.
With almost all of Iowa's corn acreage planted, 89 percent of the crop has emerged, 19 percentage points ahead of last year but equal to the five year average. The season's first corn condition rating came in at 0 percent very poor, 1 percent poor, 17 percent fair, 65 percent good, and 17 percent excellent. Soybean planting progress reached 94 percent complete, almost three weeks ahead of last year and over two weeks ahead of normal. Sixty-three percent of the soybean crop has emerged, 42 points above last year and 4 points above average. With most of the oat acreage emerged, 12 percent of the oat crop was headed, ahead of last year's 3 percent but behind average by 3 percentage points. Oat condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 10 percent excellent.
The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 22 percent complete, 19 percentage points ahead of last year but 12 points less than average. Hay condition was rated 0 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 17 percent excellent. Pasture condition improved to 2 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 48 percent good and 14 percent excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as above average.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Iowa experienced a warm and humid week with scattered thunderstorms nearly every day. Temperatures were above normal throughout the reporting week with the highest readings on Friday (30th) and Saturday (31st). Thunderstorms were scattered over the southwest two-thirds of the state on Sunday (25th) with a few west central and southwest locations receiving over an inch of rain. Thunderstorms were scattered over most of Iowa on Monday (26th) and Tuesday (27th) with heavy rains falling over portions of Woodbury, Monona and Crawford counties of west central Iowa. There were just a few isolated thunderstorms, mostly across southern Iowa, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Thunderstorms were a little more numerous on Saturday (31st) into Sunday (1st) morning but only a few far northwest Iowa locations saw more than an inch of rain with these storms. Rain totals for the week varied from only a trace at Keosauqua to an even five inches near Castana in Monona County. The statewide average precipitation was 0.66 inches or not quite two-thirds of the weekly normal of 1.07 inches. Temperature extremes varied from a Thursday (29th) morning low of 49 degrees at Cresco to afternoon highs of 90 degrees at Sibley and Hawarden on Friday and Davenport, Iowa City, Lowden and Sioux Center on Saturday. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 8.0 degrees above normal.