Some much-needed rain came to Iowa during the week ending August 24, 2014. It limited fieldwork to 4.2 days suitable across the state, according to the weekly survey conducted by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. "Above normal temperatures during the week aided crop development," says Greg Thessen, survey director at the NASS office in Des Moines. "Activities for the week included spraying for insects, baling hay and hauling grain."
Topsoil moisture levels improved and rated 4% very short, 19% short, 73% adequate, and 4% surplus at the end of the week. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4% very short, 21% short, 73% adequate and 2% surplus.
Iowa corn crop is now 88% in dough stage or beyond
The August 24 survey showed 88% Iowa's corn crop is in dough stage or beyond, 17 days ahead of last year and 8 days ahead of the 5-year average. Iowa's corn crop in the dent stage reached 33%, 25 points above the previous year but 9 points below normal. Three-quarters of the corn acreage was reported in good-to-excellent condition.
Nationwide, the U.S. corn crop is 73% good-to-excellent, compared with 72% a week ago and 59% a year ago. Corn nationwide as of August 24, 2014 is 35% dented versus 21% a year ago and 43% for the 5-year average. Soybeans slipped to 70% good-to-excellent from 71% the previous week. A year ago the U.S. bean crop was 58% good-to-excellent.
Iowa soybean crop is 94% setting pods or beyond
Iowa's 2014 soybean crop is 94% setting pods or beyond, 13 points above last year and 1 point above average. With a few farmers reporting soybean leaves starting to turn color, 73% of Iowa's soybean acreage is in good-to-excellent condition. Oat harvest for grain was nearing completion, slightly behind the previous year and normal.
With the second cutting of alfalfa hay nearing completion, the third cutting of alfalfa hay was 46% complete on August 24, which is 11 percentage points below last year and 18 points below the 5-year average. In Iowa 64% of all hay is now rated in good to excellent condition. Pasture condition is rated 56% good to excellent. Stress on livestock increased this week due to heat and flies.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending Aug. 24, 2014
Provided by Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Heat, humidity and rainfall all returned in abundance to Iowa this past reporting week. Temperatures were above normal throughout the week ending August 24 with the exception of a brief cool-down over the northeast one-half of the state on Wednesday (Aug. 20). This was among the warmer weeks of the year with readings averaging from 1 to 2 degrees above normal over the far southeast to 6 degrees above normal over the northwest. The statewide average temperature was 4.0 degrees above normal.
Temperature extremes varied from a Wednesday morning low of 56 degrees at Stanley (Buchanan Co.) to afternoon highs of 92 degrees at Sioux City on Thursday and Stanley on Friday.
This past week was Iowa's wettest week in 7 weeks
The week began dry on Sunday (Aug. 17). However, heavy rain fell over much of Worth and Mitchell counties early Monday (Aug. 18) morning with lighter rains over the northeast one-third of the state. On Tuesday (Aug. 19) rain was confined to extreme southeast Iowa. Wednesday brought rain over a large area from west central to southeast Iowa. Thursday (Aug. 21) saw rain fall over much of the northeast two-thirds of the state. Friday (Aug. 22) brought scattered thunderstorms to the southern two-thirds of Iowa. Finally, Saturday (Aug. 23) brought rain statewide with greatest amounts over south central Iowa.
Weekly rain totals varied from 0.33 inches at Persia (Harrison Co.) and 0.35 inches at Blockton (Taylor Co.) to 7.00 inches at Greenfield and 5.97 inches at Saint Ansgar (Mitchell Co.). Statewide average rainfall was 1.85 inches or double the weekly normal of 0.93 inches. This was Iowa's wettest week in seven weeks.