It was a very dry week across most of the State which allowed Iowa’s farmers 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 12, 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field activities included harvesting hay and corn silage. Some reports of old crop corn being moved to town prior to harvest were received.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 9% very short, 26% short, 63% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 14% very short, 37% short, 48% adequate and 1% surplus.
Crop maturity advanced across the State. Corn in or beyond the dent stage reached 87%, three days ahead of the 5-year average. Almost one-third of the corn crop has reached maturity, two days ahead of normal. Iowa’s corn condition rated 59% good to excellent. There were scattered reports of corn for grain being harvested.
Soybeans coloring or beyond reached 67%, three days ahead of the 5-year average. Soybeans dropping leaves reached 30%, also three days ahead of normal. Soybean condition was rated 62% good to excellent. There were also a few isolated reports of soybeans being harvested during the week.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 92% complete, two days ahead of the 5-year average. In some areas of the State farmers were starting on the fourth cutting of hay. Pasture condition was rated 35% good to excellent. In general, livestock has done well in spite of the heat. There were reports of low water levels in creeks and ponds for livestock use.
After a stretch of wetter than normal weeks, unseasonably dry conditions returned to Iowa over the reporting period; only a handful of stations observed measurable rainfall, though these totals were well below normal. Generally warmer temperatures were also felt across much of the state with positive departures over three degrees observed across southern Iowa. The statewide average temperature was 68.5 degrees, 1.2 degrees above normal.
Area temperatures hovered around normal for the last week. The average high was .4 degrees below normal while the average low was 1.1 degrees above normal. The area saw an average high of 75.2 degrees while the normal high is 75.6 degrees. The average low was 54.3 degrees while the normal low is 53.2 degrees.
Precipitation in the area is now above normal for the month with the actual rainfall at 1.83 inches and the normal for the month is 1.59 inches. This leaves the area .24 of an inch above normal for September. The rainfall was most concentrated in the four county region of Winnebago, Hancock, Cerro Gordo, and Worth counties. Immediate surrounding counties outside this region saw little if any accumulated precipitation.