Rain across the State delayed planting activities and held Iowa farmers to 2.8 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending May 5, 2019, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Below normal temperatures also slowed crop emergence.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 29 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 32 percent surplus.
Statewide, just 15 percent of the corn crop was planted during the past week. Iowa growers have now planted 36 percent of the expected crop, 1 day behind last year and 5 days behind the 5-year average. Northwest and northeast Iowa farmers have less than 20 percent of their corn planted. Just 1 percent of the crop has emerged, almost a week behind average. Eight percent of the expected soybean crop has been planted, 2 days behind last year and average. Eighty-seven percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, 6 days ahead of last year but equal to average. Thirty-five percent of the crop has emerged, 2 days ahead of last year but a week behind average.
Randy Broesder with the Farmers Coop in Forest City summed up the situation locally.
Pastures have had plenty of moisture, but could use warmer temperatures as growth remains slow. Pasture condition rated 61 percent good to excellent. Even with the slow pasture growth, cattle have been turned out into pastures.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
An active rainfall pattern brought unseasonable wetness across southeastern Iowa over the reporting period with measurable rain reported every day; the highest totals were along the Iowa – Illinois border. The rest of Iowa was near normal to around an inch below average. Statewide average temperatures were also unseasonably cool.
Showers and thunderstorms swept across Iowa late Sunday (28th) evening and exited Iowa during the morning on Monday (29th). An isolated severe thunderstorm quickly moved from southeast Iowa into central Iowa, leaving behind dime- to quarter-sized hail from Madison to Polk Counties on Sunday evening. Late in the day on Monday into Tuesday (30th), a low pressure system propagated through the state. The low brought a widespread area of moderate rainfall over the southeastern third of Iowa for much of the day. Rain totals through 7:00 am Wednesday (May 1st) exceeded 1 inch at 21 stations with Burlington (Des Moines County) reporting 2.94 inches; 3 other stations observed totals above 2 inches. As the low moved out of the state, rain showers formed across northwestern Iowa and remained into the early morning hours of Thursday (May 2nd). Average high temperatures over this period were in the upper 40s to low 50s, 10-15 degrees below average.
Compared to the beginning of the week, Friday (3rd) through Sunday (5th) was generally pleasant with spotty areas of rain each day. The weekend began with a light rain moving across portions of west-central Iowa before they dissipated late morning on Saturday (4th). Under sunny to partly cloudy conditions, highs were in the upper 60s to low 70s, with light winds. Rain showers moved through the same regions late Saturday into Sunday, while overnight lows remained in the low to mid 50s. Weekend rainfall totals were highest in the western part of the state with light accumulations into central Iowa; Des Moines (Polk County) reported 0.03 inch while Underwood (Pottawattamie County) observed 0.62 inch.
The statewide average precipitation for the week was above the average of 0.98 inch at 1.15 inches. Temperatures averaged 50.6 degrees, 4.4 degrees below normal. The week’s high temperature of 75 degrees was observed in Atlantic (Cass County) and Little Sioux (Harrison County) on the 4th, six degrees warmer than average. Fayette (Fayette County) reported the week’s low temperature of 25 degrees on the 29th, 15 degrees below average. Rainfall totals ranged 0.21 inch in Dakota City (Humboldt County) to 4.41 inches in Salem (Henry County); 10 National Weather Service Co-op stations reported totals above four inches.
The Forest City area remains well below normal in temperatures. The average high temperature was 54.3 degrees while the normal is 65.7 degrees. The average low temperature was 37.7 degrees while the noral is 43.1 degrees.
The average rainfall for May in the area so far is .42 of an inch, but the normal is .81 of an inch meaning the area is .39 of an inch below normal.