There were 4.7 days suitable for field work during the week ending May 10, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Showers early in the week briefly slowed planting progress and below normal temperatures delayed emergence.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 4% very short, 15% short, 78% adequate and 3% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2% very short, 8% short, 86% adequate and 4% surplus. Iowa farmers have planted 91% of the expected corn crop, almost a month ahead of last year and 2 weeks ahead of the 5-year average. Less than 5% of the crop remains to be planted in Northwest and North Central Iowa. One-third of the expected corn crop has emerged. The soybean crop moved to 71% planted, a full month ahead of last year and over 2 weeks ahead of the average. Northwest and North Central Iowa also lead the way in soybean planting with less than 20% remaining to be planted. Only 2% of Iowa’s expected oat crop remains to be planted, with 77% of the oat crop emerged. The first oat condition rating of the season was 0% very poor, 2% poor, 19% fair, 67% good and 12% excellent.
The first hay condition rating of the season was 0% very poor, 3% poor, 26% fair, 61% good and 10% excellent. Pasture condition rated 62% good to excellent. Cooler than normal temperatures slowed growth in pastures and hay fields. Livestock conditions were good with little to no stress reported.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Reports from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and maps from the Midwestern Regional
Climate Center reflect data collected from 7:00 A.M. Central Time on May 4, 2020, through 7:00 A.M. Central Time on May 10, 2020.
Iowa experienced cooler and drier conditions during the first full week of May. Measurable rain was reported statewide, though a majority of stations observed below average totals. A notable Arctic air intrusion brought below average coldness towards the end of the reporting period. Temperature departures were six to ten degrees below normal with eastern Iowa experiencing the coldest conditions. The statewide average temperature was 48.9 degrees, 9.0 degrees below normal.
Spotty showers moved through central Iowa during the late morning hours on Sunday (3rd) though partly to mostly sunny skies were reported for the rest of the day. Highs reached the mid to upper 70s, with locally warmer spots, under variable winds shifting out of the northeast into early Monday (4th) morning. Temperatures remained in the 40s and low 50s in southwest Iowa, slightly warmer than average. Another wave of light to moderate rain pushed into the state during the day ahead of a low pressure system over the Dakotas, leaving measurable rain across much of Iowa. The system spun into southern Minnesota early Tuesday (5th) propagating southeast through central Iowa and clearing the state’s southeast corner close to midnight. Daytime conditions were unseasonably cold with statewide highs averaging 54 degrees, 14 degrees colder than normal. Two-day rain totals reported at 7:00 am on Wednesday (6th) were highest in eastern Iowa with multiple stations in Scott County reporting from 0.97 inch to 1.07 inches. Totals into western Iowa were generally between 0.25 inch to 0.50 inch; the statewide average was 0.42 inch. Winds shifted to the northwest through the day under cloudy conditions as highs stayed in the upper 50s and low 60s.
Starry skies greeted Iowa overnight into Thursday (7th) with morning lows in the 40s; upper 30s were reported in western Iowa.
Another low pressure center moved slowly through western Iowa into the evening hours, bringing moderate rainfall across the region. Rain totals were generally at or under 0.50 inch in Iowa’s southwest corner with lighter amounts moving into central Iowa; Clarinda (Page County) observed 0.54 inch while on the eastern periphery of the system, Indianola (Warren County) reported 0.05 inch. Skies cleared into Friday (8th) with gusty northerly winds as daytime temperatures remained unseasonably cool in the low to mid 50s. A late season cold blast blanketed much of the upper Midwest, prompting freeze warnings overnight into Saturday (9th) with morning lows plummeting into the upper 20s and low 30s across Iowa. Several stations reported record lows for the date with Waterloo (Black Hawk County) reporting 27 degrees, breaking the station record set in 1945; the statewide average was 29 degrees, 17 degrees below normal. Temperatures quickly rebounded under southerly winds and mostly sunny skies. Daytime highs peaked in the mid 60s though a cold front swept west to east across Iowa into the nighttime hours, bringing light showers and localized gusty winds. Rain totals reported Sunday (10th) morning were under 0.20 inch with the highest totals in northern Iowa; New Hampton (Chickasaw County) reported 0.17 inch. Morning lows combined with strong northerly winds were brisk, generally in the upper 30s west to low 40s east. Weekly rain totals ranged from 0.10 inch at Oelwein (Fayette County) to 1.07 inches at a rain gauge in Le Claire (Scott County).
The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.56 inch while the normal is 0.99 inch. Clarion (Wright County) reported the week’s high temperature of 83 degrees on the 4th, 16 degrees above average. Elkader (Clayton County) and Stanley (Buchanan County) reported the week’s low temperature of 21 degrees on the 9th, on average 23 degrees below normal. Four-inch soil temperatures were in the low to mid 50s as of Sunday.