Despite spotty precipitation, Iowa’s farmers had 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 22, 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field activities included harvesting hay and oats.
Producers were utilizing the release of CRP land for haying and grazing.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 24% very short, 40% short, 36% adequate and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 27% very short, 42% short, 31% adequate and 0% surplus. Northwest, Central and East Central Iowa had the lowest subsoil moisture levels in the State, with more than 80% rated short to very short.
Corn in or beyond the dough stage reached 90%, six days ahead of the 5-year average. Forty-seven percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage or beyond, four days ahead of normal. There were scattered reports of corn reaching the mature stage. Some producers have begun chopping silage. Iowa’s corn condition rated 58% good to excellent.
Soybeans setting pods reached 95%, eight days ahead of normal. Five percent of soybeans were coloring. There were a few reports of soybeans dropping leaves. Soybean condition was rated 61% good to excellent. Sudden death syndrome was observed in some soybean fields across the State. Oats harvested for grain reached 97%.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 68% complete, three days ahead of the 5-year average. Both mites and army worms have been spotted in alfalfa and grass hay crops. Pasture condition was rated 31% good to excellent. Water for cows and calves on pasture has become an issue as some creeks and ponds dry up.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Above-average temperatures were observed across most of Iowa during the reporting period with a cool down from a cold frontal passage late in the week. The statewide average temperature was 72.7 degrees, 0.7 degrees above normal.
Though most of the week was dry, a large-scale weather system brought widespread rainfall across Iowa with above- normal totals approaching two inches in drought-stricken northern Iowa; much of southern Iowa reported only a few tenths of an inch of rainfall.
Light showers formed in western Iowa early on Friday (20th) before dissipating during the late morning hours.
Southwesterly winds picked up through the afternoon as a cold front approached the state from the west. Muggy conditions continued, which helped fire stronger thunderstorms in northwestern Iowa as the boundary entered the state.
Some storms turned severe with a brief tornado reported near Sibley (Osceola County), causing some damage to trees and outbuildings. As the front swept across the state, measurable rainfall was observed at a majority of stations with general totals of a few tenths of an inch over the state’s northern half. Numerous stations in north-central Iowa reported above 0.50 inch with nearly 30 stations measuring an inch or more. Pocahontas (Pocahontas County) reported 2.15 inches while Webster City (Hamilton County) observed 2.92 inches. Behind the front, cooler and more pleasant conditions built in on Saturday (21st) with sunny skies and a light northerly wind. Temperatures remained in the mid 70s to low 80s during the daytime hours and dropped into the 50s overnight into Sunday (22nd) morning.
Area Local Summary:
The area average highs were once again above normal while lows were pretty much on par. The average high was 85.2 degrees while the normal is 84.2 degrees. This left the area one degree higher than normal. Average lows were 65 degrees in the Forest City area while the normal low is 65.1 degrees. This left the area .1 degree lower than normal.
Precipitation in the are is still below normal. The area has received .45 inches of rain last week while the normal for August is 2.98 inches. This means that the area is 2.53 inches below normal for the month.