Most of Iowa received some rain during the week ending September 15, according to the latest weekly USDA crops and weather survey. But rainfall was still below average. Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, says statewide average rainfall for the week was .33 inches while normal for the week is .81 inches. The weekly survey, released September 16, is based on crop conditions as of September 15.
Last week 42% of the state was in "severe drought" according to the government's weekly U.S. Drought Monitor, another closely watched report, which is released each Thursday.
Iowa baked in hot temperatures the first half of the week, as Donnellson and Keokuk in the state's southeast corner reached 102 degrees F before a cold front moved into the state. "Cooler temperatures and rain showers that came the weekend of September 14 to 15 were welcome relief after another week of hot and dry weather further stressed corn and soybeans," notes Greg Thessen, director of the Iowa Office of USDA National Ag Statistics Service in Des Moines. "Harvest remains delayed because of the late planting, wet spring and the cooler weather we had for much of the growing season."
Despite hot weather recently, much of Iowa's corn and bean crop still lags behind normal in development and will need a later than normal frost
Farmers in northern Iowa are hoping for a later than normal frost, as corn and soybeans lag behind normal in maturity. Soybeans are especially running late. "Our soybeans are still pretty green," said Jim Stillman on September 16. He farms near Emmetsburg in Palo Alto County. "We got a few beans planted in mid-May but then it began raining and a lot of beans in our part of the state didn't get planted until mid-to-late June. So they're still fairly green and we hope we don't get an early frost."~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
Stillman estimates he and his family may be two weeks away from harvesting any soybeans on their farm. The complete weekly Iowa Crops & Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship website or on USDA's site. The report summary follows here:
CROP REPORT: Most of Iowa received some precipitation during the week ending September 15, 2013, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide rainfall was still below average for the week. Temperatures were again above normal during most of the week, but cooled during the weekend. There were scattered reports of corn silage being cut. Statewide there were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork.
Survey shows 77% of Iowa's 2013 corn crop was dented on September 15, running 12% behind normal
Topsoil moisture levels rated 51% very short, 34% short, 15% adequate and zero percent surplus as of September 15. Subsoil moisture levels rated 45% very short, 38% short, 17% adequate and zero percent surplus. South Central Iowa was the driest with 82% of topsoil moisture rated very short.
Ninety-four percent of the corn in Iowa was at or beyond the dough stage. Seventy-seven percent of the crop was dented, 12 percentage points behind normal. Fifteen percent of corn was mature, well behind the normal 45%. A few farmers reported harvesting their earliest planted corn. Corn condition remained unchanged at 9% very poor, 19% poor, 37% fair, 31% good and 4% excellent. In comparison, 53% of the corn in the 18 major corn growing states was rated good or excellent as of September 15.
Survey shows 43% of Iowa soybeans turning color as of September 15, which is 30 percentage points behind normal
Forty-three percent of soybeans were turning color, 30 percentage points behind normal. Seven percent of the state's crop has begun to drop leaves, 10 days behind normal pace. Soybean condition was almost unchanged from the previous week at 10% very poor, 19% poor, 38% fair, 30% good and 3% excellent.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
The harvest of third cutting alfalfa was nearing completion at 94% complete, ahead of the normal 88%. Pasture condition declined slightly and was rated 33% very poor, 30% poor, 28% fair, 8% good and 1% excellent.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending September 15, 2013
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Unseasonably hot weather continued over most of Iowa through Wednesday (Sept. 11) with much cooler air prevailing for the remainder of the week. Temperatures reached 102 degrees at Donnellson and Keokuk on Monday (Sept. 9). These were the highest temperatures recorded so late in the year for Iowa since September 28, 1953. However, morning low temperatures fell to 39 degrees at Cresco on Friday (Sept. 13) and down to 36 degrees at Belle Plaine, Lowden and Williamsburg on Saturday (Sept. 14). Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 6.4 degrees above normal.
Week ending Sept. 15 was seventh consecutive week, and 10th of the past 11 weeks, with below normal rainfall for the state of Iowa
As the cold front slowly made its way across Iowa from Tuesday evening September 10 to Thursday morning September 12, showers and thunderstorms brought some light to moderate rain to much of the state.
Another area of rain moved across the state from late Saturday (Sept. 14) into Sunday (Sept. 15) afternoon. About one-half of the rain from the second system fell after the cut-off for this report and will be included in next Monday's report. Nevertheless, a few areas were missed completely by the rain with locations such as Sheldon, Sioux City, Storm Lake and Jefferson receiving no measurable rain. Precipitation of greater than one inch was confined to relatively small areas over the southern one-third of Iowa. The maximum reported rainfall was 2.60 inches near Promise City in northeast Wayne County. The statewide average precipitation was 0.33 inches while normal for the week is 0.81 inches. This was the seventh consecutive week, and tenth of the past eleven, with below normal rainfall.