Iowa: Rains Slow Field Work, Raise Disease Concerns – USDA

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending September 7, 2014.

    Precipitation early in the week slowed fieldwork to only 3.7 days suitable across Iowa during the week ending September 7, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average temperatures for the week were above normal aiding crop development. Disease concerns were reported in both corn and soybeans across parts of the State. Activities for the week included chopping silage, harvesting hay, and seeding cover crops.

    Recent precipitation increased soil moisture. Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 7 percent short, 79 percent adequate, and 14 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 12 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 8 percent surplus.

    Almost all of Iowa’s corn crop was in the dough stage or beyond, and 72 percent had reached the dent stage, 1 week ahead of the previous year but 3 days behind the five-year average. Six percent of the corn acreage was mature, slightly ahead of last year but almost 2 weeks behind normal. Unchanged from last week, 76 percent of the corn acreage was reported in good to excellent condition.

    With almost the entire soybean crop setting pods or beyond, 26 percent of soybean leaves were turning color, 5 days ahead of the previous year, but 4 days behind average. Seventy-three percent of the soybean acreage was in good to excellent condition, equal to the previous week.

    The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 64 percent complete, almost 2 weeks behind both last year and the five-year average. Sixty-seven percent of all hay was rated in good to excellent condition. Pasture condition rated 63 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as excellent with limited heat and insect stress.

    Provided by Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist
    Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

    The reporting week began with warm and humid weather. Thunderstorms brought rain statewide from Sunday (31st) afternoon into Monday (1st) morning. High winds, with some hail, were reported from 25 counties Sunday night with greatest damage across west central Iowa. Light rain fell across much of the northern one-half of the state from Monday (1st) evening into Tuesday (2nd) morning. The week’s warmest weather came on Thursday (4th) with highs in the nineties in some areas while thunderstorms brought locally heavy rain to parts of east central Iowa Thursday morning.

    A strong cold front brought much cooler and drier air to the state starting Thursday night and continuing through the weekend. An area of showers and thunderstorms developed behind the cold front and brought light to moderate rain to much of Iowa between Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon. The weekend was dry statewide. Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.06 inches at Rock Rapids, Donnellson and Fort Madison to a hefty 6.37 inch total in west central Crawford County between Denison and Charter Oak.

    The statewide average precipitation was 1.35 inches while normal for the week is 0.84 inches. Temperature extremes varied from Thursday afternoon highs of 94 degrees at Donnellson, Glenwood, Shenandoah and Sidney down to a Saturday (6th) morning low of 40 degrees at Sheldon. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from two degrees above normal over the southeast and just below normal over the far northwest with a statewide average of 1.3 degrees above normal.

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