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Iowa Crop • Weather Report

May 21, 2018
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

DES MOINES - Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.

"Farmers continue to make planting progress as conditions allow and now 65 percent of corn and 33 percent of soybeans have been planted," Naig said. "But, progress varies greatly across the state. Northwest and north central Iowa are lagging well behind average due to wet conditions. North central Iowa has been the most impacted and as a result just 26 percent of corn and 3 percent of soybeans have been planted. On the other end of the spectrum, 91 percent of corn and 65 percent of soybeans have been planted in southeast Iowa and they would welcome additional precipitation."


Iowa farmers were held to 3.8 days suitable for fieldwork after storms left measurable rainfall across much of the state during the week ending May 13, 2018, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 6 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 23 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 10 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus. Intermittent rain interrupted fieldwork and planting activities in portions of the state, but recent rains have failed to relieve the dry soil conditions in the southern one-third of the state.

Iowa growers have planted 65 percent of the expected corn crop, 4 days ahead of last year. While the southern two-thirds of the state already has 79 percent or more of the corn crop planted, north central has almost three-quarter of the crop left to be planted. Twenty-six percent of the crop has emerged. Soybean growers have 33 percent of the expected crop in the ground, led by farmers in southeast Iowa who have planted almost two-thirds of their expected crop. Five percent of the crop has emerged. Ninety-two percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, 1 week behind last year and 3 days behind the five-year average. Sixty-one percent of the crop has emerged, 6 days behind last year, and 5 days behind the average.

Rain and warm temperatures have benefited hay acreage and pasture conditions statewide. The first hay condition rating of the season was 4 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 45 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Pasture condition rated 49 percent good to excellent, an increase of 9 percentage points from the previous week. Cattle and sheep are grazing on permanent pastures in many areas and farmers are waiting for drier conditions to take their first cutting of hay for the year.


By Michael Timlin

Regional Climatologist


Regional Climate Center

Iowa saw a strong gradient from north to south in both temperature and precipitation during the week.

In the northern third of the state, temperatures were near normal while precipitation was two to three times normal. In the southern two-thirds, temperatures were above normal, up to 5 to 7 degrees near the Missouri border, with precipitation ranging from near normal to well below normal, some parts of central Iowa had less than 25 percent of normal for the week. Precipitation totals for the 7-day period ranged from less than 0.10 inches in some central Iowa locations to more than 2.50 inches in northern locations. Lake Park reported 3.13 inches, the highest total for the week. More than a dozen stations across northern Iowa had 4 or 5 days with at least 0.10 inches of precipitation.

Severe weather was limited to a 1.75 inch diameter hail report from Dickinson County on the 8th and a couple 1.00 inch hail reports on each of the 8th, 11th, and 13th along with a single high wind report on the 13th. Temperatures remained above 40 degrees with just a few exceptions. The coldest reading came from the northeast part of the state, 38 degrees at Cresco on the 12th. Nearly all stations across the state reached the 80s during the week with the warmest reading of 87 degrees on the 9th at two locations,

Clarinda and Shenandoah. Soil temperatures remained in the 50s and 60s throughout the week. Moderate drought continued for less than 15 percent of the state, located along the southern border, with about 40 percent of the state either in drought or considered abnormally dry.



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