In spite of spotty showers, Iowa farmers had 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 12, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities included spraying and harvesting hay. Topsoil moisture levels rated 5% very short, 22% short, 70% adequate and 3% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 3% very short, 17% short, 78% adequate and 2% surplus. Corn silking or beyond reached 35%, 8 days ahead of the previous year and 2 days ahead of the 5-year average. There were scattered reports of corn reaching the dough stage. Corn condition rated 83% good to excellent. Soybean blooming reached 58%, 2 weeks ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of average. Soybeans setting pods reached 10%, 2 weeks ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 83% good to excellent. Oats turning color reached 73%, 8 days ahead of last year and 3 days ahead the average. There were reports of some oats being harvested for grain. Oat condition rated 86% good to excellent. Alfalfa hay second cutting reached 61%, 11 days ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of the average. Hay condition rated 76 % good to excellent. Pasture condition rated 65% good to excellent. There were reports of heat stress and increased insect populations affecting livestock.
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 July 6, 2020, through 7:00 A.M. Central Time on July 12, 2020.
Warmth persisted across the state during the reporting period with positive departures of up to five degrees. The statewide average temperature was 77.8 degrees, 3.3 degrees above normal. Several days during the period were also active with multiple waves of showers and thunderstorms, especially in northeastern Iowa. Below average totals of over an inch were reported in the driest portion of the state, namely west-central Iowa, while parts of eastern Iowa reported above-average totals. Hazy conditions persisted through the late morning hours on Sunday (5th) as southerly winds and partly sunny skies pushed afternoon temperatures into the upper 80s. Overnight lows into Monday (6th) morning remained warmer than average, generally in the upper 60s and low 70s, as a complex of thunderstorms pushed into northwest Iowa. The system did not hold together for a long duration and dissipated over north-central Iowa during the early afternoon. Hot conditions again prevailed with highs in the upper 80s and low 90s with another line of storms pushing into western Iowa in the evening hours. Morning totals at 7:00 am on Tuesday (7th) from stations in the northwest corner of Iowa show amounts ranging from 0.10 inch at Remsen (Plymouth County) to 1.26 inches at a gauge in Sioux City (Woodbury County); rainfall was generally a few tenths of an inch at most stations. Scattered thunderstorms, some severe, formed across eastern Iowa during the afternoon hours with multiple reports of high wind gusts and tree damage. Radial damage to crops and trees in Quasqueton (Buchanan County) was likely a result of strong straightline microburst winds; a 90-mph wind gust was also observed near Mount Joy (Scott County). The storms lingered into the late night hours and cleared eastern Iowa early Wednesday (8th) morning. Measurable rain was reported east of a line from the Quad Cities to Waterloo (Black Hawk County); Davenport Municipal Airport (Scott County) reported 1.24 inches with Dubuque (Dubuque County) observing 0.63 inch. Statewide morning lows, in the upper 60s and low 70s were up to 10 degrees warmer than normal; Fort Madison (Lee County) reported 75 degrees while the statewide average was 70 degrees, seven degrees above normal. With the warm start and sunny skies, highs were able to rise into the upper 90s across portions of south-central Iowa, making it the warmest day of the year so far. High dewpoints pushed heat indices into the triple digits; the statewide average high was 92 degrees, seven degrees above normal. Balmy conditions on Thursday (9th) helped fire a line of severe thunderstorms through the evening hours, leading to a widespread severe wind event across northeastern Iowa. Heavy rain from the stronger storms was also reported in northern and eastern Iowa. Over 70 stations reported at least one inch with the statewide average rainfall at 0.51 inch. Swisher (Johnson County) observed 2.90 inches and was one of over 20 stations to report over two inches of rainfall. Friday (10th) was generally dry across a majority of Iowa with highs ranging from the low 80s north to low 90s south. A complex of thunderstorms pushed into western Iowa overnight into Saturday (11th) along an existing outflow boundary; additional storms fired in extreme northeast Iowa. Unstable conditions lead to an active weather day across Iowa’s eastern half. Strong thunderstorms moved through the eastern one-third of the state through the afternoon as another line of severe thunderstorms marched from north-central Iowa into the southeastern corner. There were widespread reports of severe straight-line winds and large hail on the order of 1.25 to 2.00 inches again causing additional crop damage. Rainfall reported at 7:00 am on Sunday (12th) showed totals in the range of 0.25 inch to 0.75 inch in Iowa’s northeastern one-third; St. Ansgar (Mitchell County) observed 1.88 inches. Weekly precipitation totals ranged from no accumulation at multiple stations in southern Iowa to 3.68 inches in Anamosa (Jones County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.92 inch while the normal is 1.05 inches. Osceola (Clarke County) and Perry (Dallas County) reported the week’s high temperature of 97 degrees on the 8th, on average 11 degrees above normal. Cedar Rapids No. 1 (Linn County) reported the week’s low temperature of 54 degrees on the 12th, 11 degrees below normal.
In the Forest City area, we have received 1.55 inches of rain while the normal for the month is 1.89 inches. This leaves the area .34 inches below normal for the month. As far as temperatures are concerned, the average high has been 86.3 degrees while the normal for the area is 82.4 degrees. This puts the area 3.9 degrees warmer than normal for the month. The average low has been 67.2 degrees which is five degrees warmer than the normal for the month at 62.2 degrees.