Another week of storms which delivered heavy precipitation across much of Iowa resulted in just 2.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 24, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included checking rain gauges, assessing flood damage, harvesting hay, and applying post-emergent herbicides when weather permitted.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 25 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 10 percent short, 67 percent adequate and 20 percent surplus. Heavy rainfall left many fields ponded and caused flooding in some northern counties. In south central Iowa the topsoil moisture supplies rated adequate to surplus reached 66 percent; the highest percentage in these categories since the week ending June 4, 2017.
Eighty-one percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition. Nearly all of the soybean crop has emerged with 4 percent of the crop blooming, 3 days ahead of both last year and the 5-year average. Seventynine percent of the soybean crop was rated in good to excellent condition. Eighty-four percent of the oat crop has headed, 3 days ahead of average. Eighty percent of the oat crop was rated in good to excellent condition.
With the first cutting of alfalfa hay nearing completion, the second cutting reached 8 percent complete. Putting up hay was a challenge this week due to persistent precipitation. Hay condition rated 73 percent good to excellent. Pasture conditions rated 67 percent good to excellent. Heat and high humidity continued to stress livestock. Muddy conditions have made feedlot operations difficult.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Iowa experienced a pronounced pattern shift from previous weeks that brought measurable precipitation to the state. This active pattern produced both flash and short-term flooding across northwestern and western Iowa. On Monday (18th), a stationary boundary situated over northwest Iowa fired up storms in the early morning and late afternoon hours. Council Bluffs recorded 5.52 inches of rain on the 19th, as thunderstorms moved through southern Iowa. A low pressure system moved in on the 20th, bringing heavy rain to the state’s northwestern corner; flood warnings were issued in multiple counties, including Clay, Dickinson, and Osceola. As the day progressed, a line of severe thunderstorms formed in central Iowa and raced towards the north and east. There were multiple reports of severe winds, hail, and weak tornadoes, with Perry and Scranton observing snapped and uprooted trees. On Thursday (21st), flood warnings encompassed six counties in the northwest as the low propagated south. Isolated thunderstorms popped up in central Iowa that evening. Friday (22nd) and Saturday (23rd) saw relatively quiet conditions across the state, while thunderstorms (some severe) returned on Sunday to central Iowa. A slowmoving line stretched from Centerville northwest to Le Mars bringing accumulations of up to two inches near Sioux City. In terms of temperature, the week began with highs averaging 4-8 degrees above normal. Donnellson, in Lee County, observed highs of 96 degrees (18th) and 98 degrees (19th), almost 14 degrees above normal. Midweek saw temperatures fall below normal, with average departures up to eight degrees in the north and west. Sioux Center (Sioux County) reported a high of 65 degrees on the 21st, which was almost 20 degrees below normal. The week ended unseasonably cool with average highs 10 to 12 degrees below normal in Iowa’s southern third; statewide average temperatures were in the low 70s.