A derecho blew across Iowa but farmers had 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 16, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Dry conditions continued to be a concern for most of the State. High winds experienced on Monday caused considerable damage to on- and off-farm grain storage in their path as well as other structures. The level of crop damage reported varied widely depending on location and wind strength.
Topsoil moisture condition rated 20% very short, 36% short, 42% adequate and 2% surplus. The State’s topsoil moisture condition remained over half short to very short although it improved slightly. Subsoil moisture condition rated 17% very short, 36% short, 46% adequate and 1% surplus. The State’s subsoil moisture condition also remained over half short to very short.
Corn was 81% in the dough stage or beyond, almost 2 weeks ahead of the previous year and 5 days ahead of the 5-year average. Just over one-quarter of the corn crop is in or beyond dent stage, 11 days ahead of the previous year and 3 days ahead of average. Corn condition rated 59% good to excellent, a drop of 10 percentage points from the previous week and the lowest level this crop season. Soybeans were 97% blooming or beyond, 3 days ahead of average. Soybeans setting pods were over 2 weeks ahead of last year and 1 week ahead of average at 90%. Soybean condition fell again this week, and the crop is now rated 62% good to excellent, the lowest level so far this season. Only 3% of oats remain to be harvested for grain, 2 days ahead of both last year and the average.
The area weather story sees us below normal in all categories for August. The area is 1.4 degrees lower than normal highs for this time of year. The average high is 83.8 degrees while the normal is 84.6 degrees. As far as lows are concerned, we are currently experiencing temperatures about 1.9 degrees lower than normal. The average low is 64 degrees while the normal low is 65.9 degrees.
Precipitation is also lagging with the total for the month at 1.36 inches of rain so far. The normal for the month is 2.18 leaving us .82 inches below normal.