DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
“Farmers continue to make planting progress as the weather allows, with 84 percent of the corn and 40 percent of the soybeans in the ground,” Northey said. “Planting progress remains behind the five-year average for both corn and beans, so farmers remain anxious to take advantage of every opportunity to get in the field.”
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
Storms early in the week slowed fieldwork during the week ending May 18, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 2.6 days suitable for fieldwork. Average temperatures were several degrees below normal and frost was seen across most of the state. Other activities for the week included tiling and spraying.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 9 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 7 percent very short, 25 percent short, 62 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus.
Eighty-four percent of the expected corn acreage has been planted, 21 percentage points ahead of last year but 4 percentage points less than the five year average. Corn emergence reached 28 percent, 4 days in front of last year but 8 days behind normal. Soybean planting advanced 20 percentage points this week to 40 percent complete, 10 percentage points below average. With oat planting nearing completion, 81 percent of the oat acreage had emerged, ahead of last year’s 67 percent, but 8 percentage points behind average. The season’s first oat condition ratings came in at 0 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 46 percent fair, 44 percent good, and 7 percent excellent.
Limited alfalfa hay has been cut, with widespread cutting expected to begin in the next week. Hay condition was rated 0 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 13 percent excellent. Pasture condition rated 5 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 40 percent good and 10 percent excellent.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Showers and thunderstorms brought rain statewide on both Sunday (11th) and Monday (12th) and contributed greatly to Iowa’s wettest week in nearly one year. Weekly rain totals varied from 0.31 inches at Sibley to 4.09 inches near Osceola. The statewide average precipitation was 1.79 inches compared to a normal for the week of 1.05 inches. Another area of mostly light rain traversed the state from Wednesday (14th) night into Friday (16th) morning. This second precipitation event brought some sleet to central Iowa on Thursday with a few thunderstorms bringing more than a half inch of rain to parts of east central Iowa. The reporting week began warm with highs ranging from the upper 60’s northwest to mid 80’s southwest on Sunday (11th). A strong cold front moved into Iowa on Monday (12th) with highs only in the upper 40’s northwest while upper 80’s were recorded in eastern Iowa ahead of the front. Temperatures averaged 10 to 20 degrees below normal from Tuesday (13th) into Saturday (17th). Light freezes were recorded in far northwest Iowa on both Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Friday morning saw a freeze over about the western one-half of the state with a hard freeze across the northwest. Another freeze was recorded Saturday (17th) morning with the lowest readings across the northeast. Temperature extremes for the week varied from a Monday afternoon high of 88 degrees at Le Claire to a Friday morning low of 24 degrees at Spencer. Spencer’s minimum was the lowest temperature recorded for so late in the spring in Iowa since Sanborn had a 22 degree reading on May 22, 1963. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from 5 degrees below normal over the east to 11 degrees below normal across the northwest with a statewide average of 8.1 degrees subnormal.