Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
“The damp weather has mostly kept farmers from starting spring field work. There have been some fertilizer applications that have taken place as the weather allowed. Just 6 percent of oats have been planted, which is nearly a week behind the 5-year average,” Northey said.
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:
A rainy week prevented field work across most of Iowa during the week ending April 2, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were just 0.6 days suitable for fieldwork, with only northeast, central and southeast Iowa reporting 1.0 or more days suitable. Fertilizer, manure, and anhydrous applications were made as conditions allowed.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 67 percent adequate, and 26 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 6 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 20 percent surplus. South central Iowa reported the highest surplus subsoil moisture level at 38 percent although just a week ago, according to the USDA’s U.S. Drought Monitor, portions of the area were still considered to be in a moderate drought along with much of southeast Iowa.
Six percent of oats have been planted, 3 days behind last year’s progress, and almost a week behind the 5-year average.
Livestock conditions are generally good although muddy lots are reported to be an issue. Calving is already complete for some cattle operations.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
It was a cloudy and damp week across Iowa. Rain fell statewide on Wednesday (29th) and Thursday (30th) with the heaviest precipitation falling across the south one-half of Iowa on Wednesday where rain amounts over an inch were common. Light rain also fell over southeast Iowa Monday (27th) into Tuesday (28th) morning and over much of the state on Sunday (2nd). Weekly precipitation totals varied from 0.25 inches at Rock Valley in the far northwest to 2.39 inches at Montrose in the far southeast. The statewide average rainfall was 1.01 inches while normal for the week is 0.61 inches. This was the wettest week in 25 weeks (early October). Temperatures were mostly in the forties and fifties with little change from day to day owing to persistent cloud cover. The weekly temperature extremes all came from northern Iowa where occasional clear skies allowed daytime highs to climb higher and nighttime lows to fall lower. Lowest temperatures of 27 degrees occurred at Battle Creek, Cherokee, Mapleton, Sheldon and Sioux City on Tuesday (28th) morning and also at Cresco, Decorah, Elkader and Vinton on Saturday (1st) morning. Highest temperatures came on the same dates, and in some cases the same locations. Temperatures reached 63 degrees at Le Mars and Sioux City on Tuesday and also at Decorah on Saturday. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from eight degrees above normal in far northwest Iowa to one degree below normal over the extreme southeast. Soil temperatures as of Sunday (2nd) were averaging in the mid-forties over nearly all of Iowa.
For the Forest City area, the average high was 38.2 degrees which is 3.1 degrees lower than the normal for the month of March at 41.3
The average low was 21.9 degrees which was 1.2 degrees lower than the normal of 23.1 degrees for the month of March.
As far as rainfall is concerned, the average rainfall was 1.82 inches. That is .06 inches lower than normal of 1.88 inches.