Farmers began harvesting in some parts of Iowa last week, and rain gave the state's 2013 corn and soybean crops a slight boost. "The widespread rain received last week was very welcome after the extremely dry weather in August and the first half of September," observes Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. "Harvest in Iowa will likely become more widespread this week and next."
Farmers also were busy chopping corn silage and harvesting seed corn, according to the latest weekly Iowa Crops & Weather report, based on surveys statewide as of September 22. The results were analyzed and released September 23 by the Iowa Office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service in Des Moines.
The statewide average precipitation was 1.09 inches for the week through Sunday while normal rainfall for the week is 0.77 inches. In addition to needed moisture, the rainstorms brought wind damage to some areas of central Iowa Thursday evening.
Rain last week gave Iowa corn, soybeans slight boost as condition improves
The survey shows 37% of Iowa's corn crop was considered to be in good to excellent condition for the ending September 22, compared with 35% the previous week. Only 3% of the state's corn acres had been harvested compared with 35% this time a year ago. The five-year average is 9%. In the 18 major U.S. corn-growing states, 7% of the corn was harvested as of Sunday September 22.
Looking at soybeans, 34% of Iowa beans rated good or excellent, slightly improved from 33% the previous week. Half of the soybeans in the 18 major U.S. soybean states were good to excellent on September 22, unchanged from a week earlier.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
About 40% of Iowa was still in a severe drought last week, unchanged from previous week, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed.The complete weekly Iowa Crops & Weather report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship site or USDA's site. Here's the summary:
Some farmers in Iowa have started harvesting their earliest-planted corn
CROP REPORT: Iowa received some much needed precipitation during the week ending September 22, 2013, according to the Iowa office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Areas of Central Iowa experienced wind damage from Thursday evening's storm. Statewide there were 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork. Other activities for the week included chopping corn silage and harvesting seed corn.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 36% very short, 41% short, 23% adequate and zero percent surplus, as of September 22. Subsoil moisture levels rated 41% very short, 40% short, 19% adequate and zero percent surplus. Southeast Iowa was the driest with 97% of topsoil moisture rated in the very short and short categories.
Iowa's corn crop is 35% mature, well behind the normal of 61%; soybeans are running about 10 days behind normal
With almost the entire corn crop in or past the dough stage, 89% of the crop was dented, 6 percentage points behind normal. Thirty-five percent of corn was mature, well behind the normal 61%. Some farmers reported harvesting their earliest planted corn.
Corn condition improved slightly to 9% very poor, 18% poor, 36% fair, 32% good and 5% excellent. Sixty-nine percent of soybeans had turned color by September 22, which is 20 percentage points behind normal. And 22% of the crop had dropped leaves, 10 days behind normal pace. There were scattered reports of the earliest planted soybeans being harvested. Soybean condition also improved slightly to 10% very poor, 19% poor, 37% fair, 30% good and 4% excellent.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
The harvest of third cutting alfalfa was 96% complete, slightly ahead of the normal 93%. Pasture condition improved and was rated 32% very poor, 30% poor, 27% fair, 10% good and 1% excellent.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ended September 22, 2013
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
The past week brought frequent rainfall for much of the state. Most of the week was on the cool side with daytime highs primarily in the 60's. However, hot and humid weather made a brief appearance on Wednesday and Thursday. The reporting week began with light rain falling across about the southeast one-half of the state on Sunday (Sept. 15) with a few rain totals over an inch reported in east central Iowa. Monday (Sept. 16) was mostly dry with rain spreading across the southwest one-half of Iowa on Tuesday (Sept. 17) where a few locations received more than an inch of moisture. Wednesday saw scattered showers and thunderstorms, primarily across the northern two-thirds of the state with a few one inch totals in central Iowa.
The week that ended on September 22 was Iowa's wettest week in 12 weeks
The most widespread rain came on Thursday with precipitation falling nearly statewide. The heaviest rain came in a band from about Glenwood to Des Moines to Dubuque. However, high winds with some hail were reported with these storms from 19 counties from southwest into east central Iowa. Rain totals for the week varied from only sprinkles at Le Mars, Orange City and Rock Valley of northwest Iowa to 4.85 inches near Hastings in Mills County, 4.40 inches at Greenfield and 4.33 inches at Monticello. The statewide average precipitation was 1.09 inches while normal for the week is 0.77 inches. This was the wettest week in twelve weeks with Thursday being the wettest day since June 24.
Temperatures early in the week fell as low as 39 degrees at Estherville on Monday (Sept. 16) with a few northwest Iowa locations (Battle Creek, Sheldon and Spencer) reporting the first freeze of the season on Saturday (Sept. 21) morning with 32 degree readings. However, no damage has been reported from this light freeze. On the other extreme, Des Moines reached 92 degrees on Wednesday while Burlington, Donnellson, Keosauqua and Lowden reached 94 degrees on Thursday. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 0.7 degrees above normal, thus the two days of unseasonably hot weather was just enough to cancel the impacts of the five cooler than normal days.