A week without measurable rainfall allowed farmers 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 20, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field activities included harvesting corn for silage, fall tillage, moving old crop grain stocks, and harvesting corn for grain and soybeans. Topsoil moisture condition rated 12% very short, 29% short, 56% adequate and 3% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 21% very short, 32% short, 46% adequate and 1% surplus.
Corn was 94% in or beyond dent stage, over 2 weeks ahead of the previous year and 4 days ahead of the 5-year average. Two-thirds of the crop has reached maturity, 3 weeks ahead of last year and over a week ahead of average.
Corn harvest for grain reached 4% statewide, 17 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of average. Corn condition rated 42% good to excellent, unchanged from the previous week. Soybeans coloring or beyond advanced to 90%. That is over 2 weeks ahead of last year and 1 week ahead of average. Two-thirds of the soybean crop was dropping leaves or beyond, also over 2 weeks ahead of last year and 1 week ahead of average. Soybean harvest was 7% complete, 17 days ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of average. Farmers in northwest and west central Iowa led the way with over 10% of their soybeans harvested. Soybean condition rated 48% good to excellent.
Alfalfa hay third cutting was 97% complete, a month ahead of last year and over 2 weeks ahead of the 5-year average. Pasture condition rated 17% good to excellent. Livestock experienced little stress with cooler temperatures.
Forest City Area Weather Conditions
The area continues to remain below normal in temperature, but well above in precipitation. Our average highs for the area are at 69.2 degrees. The normal for this time of the month is 74.6 degrees which means the area is 5.4 degrees below normal. Our average lows are around 48.4 degrees while the normal highs are 52.1 degrees. This leaves the area 3.7 degrees below normal. National Weather Service Meteorologist Andrew Ansorge of the Johnston office says that smoke from west coast wildfires may have made a little difference in the temperatures.
Looking ahead, Ansorge believes the area differences in average versus normal temperatures will level out.
Thanks to the wet week that Ansorge mentioned, the area is well above the normal precipitation for the month. The normal is 2.34 inches for the month of September. The area is currently averaging 3.9 inches which means that the area is currently 1.56 inches above normal for rainfall.