The extremely hot weather last week further stressed crops in Iowa and the condition of both corn and soybeans continued to decline. Some parts of the state received a little rainfall last week and this past weekend, but all areas of the state could use additional moisture. That's the summary of the weekly Iowa Crops & Weather report, released September 3, 2013. It's based on the statewide survey as of September 1.
Western Iowa and southeast Iowa are particularly hard hit by continued dryness, as are a number of other areas of the state. Central Iowa, for example, experienced the fifth driest months on record for July and August, according to the National Weather Service. The Des Moines area received 2 inches of precipitation, 6.36 inches below normal. About 60% of the state is in some form of drought, up from 35% a week ago.
Jim and Barb Halbur, who farm in Carroll County in western Iowa attended a field day at the Iowa State University Agronomy Farm west of Ames on Friday, August 30. "We've only had two-tenths of an inch of rain on our farm since June 17," she told Wallaces Farmer. Jim added, "Some farmers near the town of Willey are already chopping silage. The corn is pretty well burned up on the lighter soils. I've heard the yield checks on that corn are only indicating 15 bushels per acre. So they're chopping it for silage."
Condition of Iowa's corn crop declined from previous week--only 33% now rates good, 6% is excellent, while 25% is poor or very poor, and 36% is fair
CROP REPORT: Above average temperatures prevailed across Iowa during the week ending September 1, 2013, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Although most of the state received little or no rainfall, parts of western Iowa experienced beneficial rain. While hot temperatures allowed crops to mature, crop conditions deteriorated last week in response to the heat and lack of moisture. Statewide there was an average of 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
A statewide average of 22% of the topsoil and 26% of subsoil was in the adequate and surplus moisture categories, declining 6 and 8 percentage points from last week, respectively. As of September 1, topsoil moisture levels rated 44% very short, 34% short, 22% adequate and zero percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 35% very short, 39% short, 26% adequate and zero percent surplus.
Iowa's corn crop is running about 12 days behind normal on average, as of September 1, but the latest planted corn is lagging even further behind
Looking at crop progress, 94% of Iowa's corn crop had reached the milk stage on September 1, which is 4 percentage points behind normal. Seventy-three percent of the crop reached the dough stage, trailing the normal 88%. Thirty-three percent of the crop has reached the dent stage, 12 days behind normal. A small portion of the earliest planted corn was mature. Corn condition declined from the previous week, and was rated at 8% very poor, 17% poor, 36% fair, 33% good and 6% excellent.
Ninety-three percent of the soybean crop was setting pods, behind last year's 99% and the normal 98%. Some of the earliest planted soybeans have begun turning color. Soybean condition also declined from last week and was rated 8% very poor, 16% poor, 37% fair, 34% good and 5% excellent.
The warm and mostly dry conditions allowed the harvest of third cutting alfalfa to reach 77% compete, above the normal 72%, but still well behind last year's 98% on the first of September. Pasture condition continued to deteriorate, and was rated 24% very poor, 28% poor, 33% fair, 14% good and 1% excellent.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending September 1, 2013
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
It was a hot and dry week across Iowa—the week that ended September 1. A few lucky areas received substantial rainfall while no rain fell over much of southeast Iowa and portions of north central and northeast Iowa. This was the hottest week of the year with temperatures averaging 11.7 degrees above normal. A hotter week was last recorded during the first week of July 2012.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
Actual temperatures this past week peaked at 104 degrees at Des Moines and Fort Madison on Friday (August 30) while the heat index reached 108 degrees at Iowa City on Wednesday (August 28) afternoon. Slightly cooler air finally arrived on Saturday (August 31) with Sheldon reporting a morning low of 57 degrees while afternoon highs in the nineties were confined to the southern one-half of Iowa.
Statewide average rainfall last week was .28 inches, normal is .90 inches
There were only two periods of rain during the week. A narrow area of thunderstorms formed late Friday (August 30) into Saturday (August 31) morning from the Newton-Marshalltown area northeastward to Dubuque with a maximum report of 2.46 inches of rain at Lock & Dam 11 at Dubuque. A larger area of thunderstorms brought rain to much of the southwest one-half of Iowa late Saturday (August 31) into Sunday (September 1) morning. A few locations received more than an inch of rain with Sheldon reporting the most with 1.72 inches. The statewide average rainfall was 0.28 inches while normal for the week is 0.90 inches. High winds and some hail accompanied the rain in far northwest Iowa along with reports of winds flattening some corn in Dallas County in central Iowa.