Monday, September 23, 2013
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Iowa: Much Needed Precipitation Helps Crops – US-DA

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Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending September 22, 2013.

Iowa received some much needed precipitation during the week ending September 22, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Areas of Central Iowa experienced wind damage from Thursday evening’s storm. Statewide there were 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork. Other activities for the week included chopping corn silage and harvesting seed corn.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 36 percent very short, 41 percent short, 23 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 41 percent very short, 40 percent short, 19 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Southeast Iowa was the driest with 97 percent of topsoil moisture rated in the very short and short categories.

With almost the entire corn crop in or past the dough stage, 89 percent of the crop was dented, 6 percentage points behind normal. Thirty-five percent of corn was mature, well behind the normal 61 percent. Some operators reported harvesting their earliest planted corn. Corn condition improved slightly to 9 percent very poor, 18 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 32 percent good and 5 percent excellent.

Sixty-nine percent of soybeans had turned color, 20 percentage points behind normal. Twenty-two percent of the crop had dropped leaves, 10 days behind normal pace. There were scattered reports of the earliest planted soybeans being harvested. Soybean condition also improved slightly to 10 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 30 percent good and 4 percent excellent.

The harvest of third cutting alfalfa was 96 percent complete, slightly ahead of the normal 93 percent. Pasture condition improved and was rated 32 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 10 percent good and 1 percent excellent.

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
Provided by Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist
Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

The past week brought frequent rainfall for much of the state. Most of the week was on the cool side with daytime highs primarily in the 60’s. However, hot and humid weather made a brief appearance on Wednesday and Thursday. The reporting week began with light rain falling across about the southeast one-half of the state on Sunday (15th) with a few rain totals over an inch reported in east central Iowa. Monday (16th) was mostly dry with rain spreading across the southwest one-half of Iowa on Tuesday (17th) where a few locations received more than an inch of moisture.

Wednesday saw scattered showers and thunderstorms, primarily across the northern two-thirds of the state with a few one inch totals in central Iowa. The most widespread rain came on Thursday with precipitation falling nearly statewide. The heaviest rain came in a band from about Glenwood to Des Moines to Dubuque. However, high winds with some hail were reported with these storms from 19 counties from southwest into east central Iowa. Rain totals for the week varied from only sprinkles at Le Mars, Orange City and Rock Valley of northwest Iowa to 4.85 inches near Hastings in Mills County, 4.40 inches at Greenfield and 4.33 inches at Monticello.

The statewide average precipitation was 1.09 inches while normal for the week is 0.77 inches. This was the wettest week in twelve weeks with Thursday being the wettest day since June 24. Temperatures early in the week fell as low as 39 degrees at Estherville on Monday (16th) with a few northwest Iowa locations (Battle Creek, Sheldon and Spencer) reporting the first freeze of the season on Saturday (21st) morning with 32 degree readings. However, no damage has been reported from this light freeze. On the other extreme, Des Moines reached 92 degrees on Wednesday while Burlington, Donnellson, Keosauqua and Lowden reached 94 degrees on Thursday.

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 0.7 degrees above normal, thus the two days of unseasonably hot weather was just enough to cancel the impacts of the five cooler than normal days.

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