Final weekly 2015 Iowa crop survey shows plenty of soil moisture

Final weekly 2015 Iowa crop survey shows plenty of soil moisture

Subsoil moisture in Iowa is 82% adequate and 11% surplus at end of November.

Fieldwork activities across Iowa were halted due to a mix of winter weather that left fields saturated during the week ending November 29, 2015. That's according to the weekly Iowa crops and weather survey by USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. This is the final crop progress and field condition survey for 2015.

Statewide there were only 1.6 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week were minimal given the conditions but included some manure hauling and spreading, and a little dry fertilizer application. Some grain piles were being picked up and moved if they had not been covered up, but otherwise grain movement slowed this week.

RECORD CROPS: Iowa corn production for 2015 is estimated by USDA at 2.49 billion bushels. That's 3% above the October forecast. If realized, production will be a record high, topping the previous record set in 2009 by 4%. Iowa soybean production at 550 million bushels in 2015 is also a record crop.

Topsoil moisture levels rated zero percent very short, 3% short, 77% adequate and 20% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 6% short, 82% adequate and 11% surplus. 

On-farm grain storage is 68% adequate to surplus this fall

Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 29% moderate to heavy, down 7 percentage points from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability was rated 78% adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was rated 68% adequate to surplus.

Hay and roughage supplies were rated 96% adequate to surplus. Reports of producers dipping into their hay supplies were received this week. Livestock conditions were cold and wet, and lots are muddy due to a wetter than normal November. Some livestock producers worked on fencing projects.

Iowa Preliminary Weather Summary for week ended Nov. 29 >>


Iowa Preliminary Weather Summary for week ended Nov. 29
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Iowa recorded another unseasonably wet week for the 7 days ending Nov. 29, thanks mostly to a mid-week storm event that moved into western Iowa on

Wednesday (Nov. 25) afternoon and exited eastern portions of the state on Friday (Nov. 27) morning. Most of the precipitation with this Thanksgiving Day storm came in the form of rain, however, there was an inch or two of snow in far western Iowa and freezing rain centered upon west central sections of the state.

Heaviest rain fell over the southeast where 1.5 to 2.5 inches was common roughly along and southeast of a Lamoni to Dubuque line. Light rain and freezing rain also fell across far southern Iowa  Saturday (Nov. 28) night into Sunday (Nov. 29) morning. Additional precipitation fell across the southeastern two-thirds of the state Sunday evening into Monday (Nov. 30) morning but came too late to be reflected in this week's statistics.

Likely the wettest November in Iowa since 1992
Precipitation totals for the week varied from 0.05 inches at Rock Valley to 2.99 inches just south of Ottumwa. The statewide average precipitation was 1.02 inches, more than double the weekly normal of 0.42 inches. Preliminary statistics indicate that this has been the wettest November since 1992. 

Temperatures were below normal at the beginning of the week over most of Iowa but with much warmer air entering the southwest on Monday (Nov. 23) and covering all of the state by Wednesday (Nov. 25). Below normal temperatures returned on Friday and Saturday. Temperature extremes for the week varied from a Thanksgiving Day high of 66 degrees at Keokuk to a Saturday (Nov. 28) morning low of 7 degrees at Sheldon.   Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged about one degree below normal in the east to four degrees above normal over the northwest with a statewide average of 2.9 degrees above normal.

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