Much needed rainfall across most of the State limited Iowa’s farmers to 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the
week ending August 29, 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field activities included harvesting hay, oats and corn silage. Producers were getting ready for row crop harvest with repairs to equipment and bins.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 14% very short, 30% short, 52% adequate and 4% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 20% very short, 41% short, 38% adequate and 1% surplus.
Corn in or beyond the dough stage reached 95%, one week ahead of the 5-year average. Sixty-six percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage or beyond, four days ahead of normal. Six percent of corn has reached maturity. Iowa’s corn condition rated 58% good to excellent. Wind and heavy rain damaged some corn and soybean fields in north central, northeast and southeast Iowa. Soybeans coloring or beyond reached 18%, two days ahead of the 5-year average.
There were scattered reports of soybeans dropping leaves. Soybean condition was rated 60% good to excellent. Oats for grain harvest is virtually complete at 99%.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 79% complete, two days ahead of the 5-year average. Pasture condition was rated 31% good to excellent. The week’s rains helped pastures show improvement as they greened up in some areas.
Area Weather Summary
A remarkable shift in the storm track across the Midwest brought several days of heavy rainfall and severe weather over northern Iowa. Rain totals topped four to ten inches above normal at multiple stations. Beneficial rains fell across much of the severe to extreme drought region. Unseasonable warmth was also observed statewide during the reporting period with positive departures of eight to twelve degrees in southern Iowa. The statewide average temperature was 77.1 degrees, 5.7 degrees above normal.
As far as precipitation is concerned locally, despite the heavy rains over the weekend, the area remains below normal for the month. The normal amount of rain for the month is 4.6 inches, but the amount we have received so far is 3.36 inches. This puts the area 1.24 inches below normal for the month.
Temperatures are actually above normal. The average high is 81.7 degrees while the normal high is 81.3 degrees. This puts the area .4 degrees above normal. The average low is 61.6 degrees while the normal low is 61.5 degrees leaving the area .1 degrees above normal.