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 were very busy in the fields last week with nearly half of expected corn acres being planted, about 7 million acres, and almost 20 percent of soybeans being planted, or about 2 million acres,” Northey said. “The rain we received was good for the crop in the ground but is a challenge for those still needing to get crops planted.”
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:
Optimal conditions allowed almost half of the expected corn acreage to be planted in Iowa during the week ending May 11, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average temperatures were above normal for the week, while average precipitation was below normal. Statewide there were 4.9 days suitable for fieldwork. Other activities for the week included fertilizer and herbicide application, manure hauling, and spraying.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 10 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 9 percent very short, 26 percent short, 60 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. Northwest Iowa remained the driest with almost one-third of topsoil reported as very short or short of moisture.
Planting advanced rapidly at the beginning of the week. Oat seeding was 92 percent complete, 13 percentage points ahead of last year but only 3 percentage points behind the five-year average. Sixty-five percent of the oat acreage had emerged, ahead of last year’s 42 percent, but 12 percentage points behind average. Seventy percent of the expected corn acreage was planted, 8 days ahead of last year but equal to the normal pace. Corn was slow to emerge with only 9 percent of the acreage emerged, 20 percentage points less than average. Soybean planting was 20 percent complete, advancing 19 percentage points from last week and only 2 days behind normal.
Pasture condition rated 6 percent very poor, 12 percent poor, 40 percent fair, 35 percent good and 7 percent excellent. More livestock have been moved onto pastures across the State.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
The past reporting week brought drier and warmer weather to Iowa. The week began with cool conditions on Sunday (4th) with highs in the mid 50s north to low 70s southwest while light showers fell across the northeast one-third of the state. Monday (5th) and Tuesday (6th) were dry and warmer with highs in the mid to upper 60s northeast with mid 70s to low 80s southwest. Wednesday (7th) and Thursday (8th) were much warmer with highs in the mid 70s north to mid 90s southwest on Wednesday and low 80s south on Thursday. Clarinda, Shenandoah and Sidney all reached 97 degrees on Wednesday afternoon, the first time the ninety degree mark has been reached this year in the state. Thunderstorms were scattered across mostly northwest Iowa on Wednesday and statewide on Thursday. Friday (9th) was dry with a brief cool-down into Saturday (10th) morning when Elkader dipped to 32 degrees. Saturday afternoon temperatures warmed to the mid 60s north central to mid 80s southwest. Scattered thunderstorms returned on Saturday, mostly across the northwest one-half of the state. Precipitation totals for the week varied from only sprinkles at several southeast Iowa locations such as Fairfield and Keosauqua while Cresco in northeast Iowa reported the most rain with 1.86 inches (all falling on Thursday). The statewide average precipitation was 0.31 inches or about one-third the weekly normal of 0.99 inches. Substantial precipitation fell on Sunday (11th) just after the cut-off for this week’s report and will be included in next week’s summary. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged near normal near the Minnesota border to six degrees above normal over the southwest. The statewide average temperature was 3.2 degrees above normal.