USDA's latest weekly crop progress survey released April 20 shows 7% of the 2015 Iowa corn crop is now in the ground. Data for these weekly reports is gathered by volunteer, trained observers across the state every Sunday. The data is compiled and analyzed by USDA statisticians and a report is released on Monday afternoon.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey yesterday commented on the weekly Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Ag Statistics Service office in Des Moines. "A lot of field work was done last week and many farmers were able to get a start on corn planting, with 7% of Iowa corn acreage now planted. The rain this past weekend was welcomed in most of the state and is helping to replenish soil moisture levels and green up pastures," notes Northey.
The complete weekly report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's site www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
CROP REPORT: A productive week of fieldwork was halted by weekend rains in Iowa during the week ending April 19, 2015, says USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included manure hauling, tillage, oat seeding, anhydrous application and some corn planting.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 13% short, 76% adequate and 10% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2% very short, 18% short, 76% adequate and 4% surplus. North central Iowa reported the highest topsoil moisture level with 98% in adequate to surplus, while west central and north central Iowa reported the highest subsoil moisture levels with both at 90% adequate to surplus.
Iowa corn planting progress is about equal to 5-year average
As of April 19, the survey showed 7% of intended corn acreage in Iowa has been planted, 4 days ahead of last year, but equal to the 5-year average. Nearly one-third of Iowa's expected oat crop was planted during the week, third highest percentage seeded for the third week of April in 20 years. For 2015, Iowa now has 74% of the oat crop planted, over two weeks ahead of last year, and one week ahead of the average. Oats emerged reached 21%, one week ahead of last year but fractionally behind normal.
Pasture condition improved to 52% good to excellent. Pastures continued to green up, with reports in central Iowa of cows being moved to pasture. Livestock conditions were reported as good.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending April 19, 2015
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
A pair of storm systems brought widespread rain to Iowa this past week. The first event from late Sunday (April 12) into Monday (April 13) morning brought a statewide average of 0.34 inches of rain with largest amounts along the Missouri border, where a few locations received over an inch, and least along the Minnesota border. The other event began Saturday (April 18) morning over southwest Iowa and continued into Monday (April 20) morning over eastern Iowa.
Storms brought widespread rain to Iowa this past week
This second event brought a statewide average of 1.17 inches of rain with an inch or more falling over a broad area from southwest, through central, into parts of north central Iowa. Much lesser amounts fell over the far northwest corner of the state and near the Illinois border. There was also some very light rainfall over southwest and west central Iowa on Wednesday (April 15). Rain totals for the week varied from 0.15 inches at Lester (Lyon County) to 2.93 inches at Bedford (Taylor County).
The statewide average precipitation for the week as a whole was 1.51 inches while normal for the period is 0.85 inches. Meanwhile, temperatures were above normal throughout the week with warmest readings from Thursday (April 16) through Saturday (April 18), but with unseasonably mild readings persisting into Sunday (April 19) over far eastern Iowa.
Temperatures averaged 7.8 degrees above normal last week
Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 7.8 degrees above normal for the state. Even so, a freeze was recorded over portions of Iowa on Tuesday (April 14) morning with Elkader the cold spot at 27 degrees. On the other extreme temperatures reached 82 degrees at Donnellson (Lee County) on Friday (April 17). Soil temperatures at the four inch depth as of Sunday (April 19) were averaging in the low fifties northwest to low sixties far southeast but will be falling substantially with much cooler weather expected to persist throughout the coming week.