Warm and windy weather with spotty thunderstorms prevailed across Iowa during the week ending June 18, according to the latest weekly survey by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Those isolated storms left some farmers assessing crop damage from strong winds and hail. Statewide there were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included cutting hay, spraying herbicides, sidedressing nitrogen and replanting.
Statewide, topsoil rated 5% very short, 22% short and 71% adequate. Subsoil moisture rated 3% very short, 15% short and 79% adequate.
Corn, soybean crops catching up
How are crops in northwest Iowa? “In general, looking good — both corn and beans,” says Paul Kassel, Iowa State University Extension field agronomist at Spencer. “We had a bit of a rough start in April with planting delays due to too much rain. And in parts of May we also had some planting delays due to wet weather. Wet weather kept us pretty much out of the field from mid-May to Memorial Day. Then it turned hot and dry in June, and we got the remainder of the acres planted.”
Then everything started growing. “In general, as of today, June 19, our corn and soybean crops are looking good,” says Kassel.
Summary of Iowa crop conditions
The weekly survey results as of June 18 show topsoil moisture for Iowa rated 5% very short, 22% short, 71% adequate and 2% surplus. That’s the statewide average. Southwest Iowa reported the highest levels of topsoil moisture with 96% adequate to surplus. Subsoil moisture levels for the state average rated 3% very short, 15% short, 79% adequate and 3% surplus. Only the northeast and southwest corners of Iowa saw an increase in subsoil moisture for the week. Many reports from crop observers mentioned the need for timely rain.
The survey showed 78% of the state’s corn crop is now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Soybean emergence reached 92%, five days behind last year but four days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 74% good to excellent. Oats headed reached 67%, four days behind last year. Oat condition rated 77% good to excellent.
The first cutting of alfalfa hay reached 94% complete, and a second cutting has begun in many areas. Hay condition remained 83% good-to-excellent. Pasture condition decreased slightly to 69% good-to-excellent. Some livestock stress was reported as a result of the heat.
Weather summary for Iowa
Last week began with unseasonably hot weather statewide in Iowa. Harry Hillaker, state climatologist with IDALS, provides the following report.
Temperatures averaged 10 or more degrees F above normal on June 11-13. Temperatures moderated slightly at midweek but remained well above normal through June 17. Temperature extremes for the week varied from highs of 97 degrees at Little Sioux on June 13 and at Lamoni on June 15 to June 18’s morning lows of 51 degrees at Chariton and Mount Ayr. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 8.1 degrees above normal.
Many areas got needed rain, some hardly any
Showers and thunderstorms were scattered across the state every day. Many areas received some much needed rainfall, but a few, mainly in northwest, south-central and southeast Iowa saw only light amounts. Weekly rain totals varied from 0.21 inch at Indianola to 4.65 inches at Corning. The statewide average rainfall was 1.40 inches, while normal for the week is 1.19 inches.
There were isolated severe storms daily June 12-14. The most widespread severe weather occurred across about the southeast half of Iowa June 15, with very large hail reported in Franklin, Marion and Page counties. High winds raked the far west and southwest portions of Iowa on Friday, while there were more reports of very large hail from Appanoose and Muscatine counties June 17.