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Serving: IA
soybean field
WEEKLY SURVEY: It shows 91% of Iowa’s 2019 soybean crop is setting pods, 18 days behind last year and 12 days behind average.

August ends drier than normal for Iowa crops

Only 41% of 2019 Iowa corn crop has reached dent stage, nine days behind average.

Iowa’s 2019 corn crop is still lagging, as 41% had reached dent stage by Sept. 1, which is nine days behind the five-year average. And only 1% of the state’s corn has reached maturity, based on results of USDA’s statewide weekly survey.

Iowa’s soybean crop is also running behind normal in 2019. Soybeans this year were planted late due to a wet spring. Iowa’s bean crop is now 18 days behind last year and 12 days behind average.

Looking at the 18 top corn-producing states, crop conditions for corn and soybeans changed only a little last week, compared to the week before, says USDA. Overall condition of the corn crop is rated at 58% good-to-excellent. It was 57% a week ago and 67% a year ago. USDA’s survey shows 81% of corn is now in dough stage in the 18 states, compared to 93% for the five-year average.

The nation’s soybean crop is rated 55% good-to-excellent, compared to 55% a week ago and 66% a year ago. Also, 96% of the soybean crop is now blooming versus 100% for this date using the five-year average.

"For Iowa, a new month begins with the weather outlook indicating the possibility of wetter than normal conditions across the state," notes Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. "This follows a dryer than normal end to August."

The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report is available on USDA’s site at  

Crop report

Iowa had mostly dry field conditions and below-normal temperatures during the week ending Sept. 1, according to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities included wrapping up fungicide and insecticide applications and harvesting hay. A few farmers were starting to chop corn silage.

Topsoil moisture was rated 4% very short, 26% short, 69% adequate and 1% surplus. Areas in 12 counties within the east-central and southeast Iowa districts were rated as D1 moderate drought, according to the August 29 U.S. Drought Monitor. Subsoil moisture was rated 4% very short, 25% short, 70% adequate and 1% surplus.

Iowa’s corn crop is now 86% in or beyond dough stage, 12 days behind last year and 10 days behind the five-year average. And 41% the crop has reached the dent stage, two weeks behind last year and nine days behind average. Only 1% of corn has reached maturity, 11 days behind average. Corn condition is rated 62% good-to-excellent.

Iowa’s 2019 soybean crop is 91% setting pods, 18 days behind last year and 12 days behind average. Only 3% of the crop has started coloring, 11 days behind average. Soybean condition is rated 60% good-to-excellent.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 64% completed, nine days behind average. Pasture condition rated 45% good-to-excellent. Livestock experienced little stress this past week.

Weekly weather summary

August ended much like it began with unseasonable dryness across much of Iowa as well as cooler-than-normal temperatures. Rainfall departures were generally under an inch statewide. Temperatures were well below normal with the statewide average temperature of 65.1 degrees, 5.8 degrees below normal.

“That sums up the weather in Iowa for the past week,” says Justin Glisan, state climatologist for the Iowa Department of Agriculture. He provides details area by area in the following report.

A low-pressure system moving through Missouri brought waves of showers across eastern Iowa Sunday afternoon, August 25, and into the evening hours. Overcast skies kept temperatures in the upper 60s and lower 70s with a light wind from the east-southeast. The average statewide temperature was 72 degrees, 9 degrees below normal.

Storm reformed during early-morning hours on Monday bringing much-needed rain to eastern Iowa; three stations near Burlington (Des Moines County) reported over 2 inches. Tuesday (Aug. 27) was partly to mostly sunny with brisk westerly winds.

Temperatures reached into the mid to upper 70s, as high pressure over Missouri kept conditions pleasant into Wednesday in Iowa. After sunset, cloud cover crept into southwest Iowa in advance of the next disturbance to impact weather across the state.

A small cluster of thunderstorms formed across west-central Iowa in early-morning hours of Thursday. The storms moved through central Iowa before heading southeast. As the storms approached the Iowa-Missouri border, quarter-size hail was reported in Bloomfield (Davis County). Warm and muggy conditions developed across Iowa.

Highs reached into the mid-80s across the state’s southern half. Isolated thunderstorms re-fired across southwest Iowa just before midnight. The 24-hour rain totals at 7 a.m. on Friday (Aug. 30) ranged from 0.01 inch in Atlantic (Cass County) to 1.85 inches at Rathbun Dam (Appanoose County).

Partly cloudy conditions prevailed into early Saturday before light showers moved through Iowa during the day. Rain totals were generally under 0.25 inch, with higher amounts in northwest Iowa; Sioux City (Woodbury County) reported 0.39 inches. Cloudy skies kept daytime highs in the mid-60s, 10 degrees cooler than average. Clouds began clearing early Sunday (Sept. 1) morning with light variable winds and overnight lows in the mid-to-upper 50s.

Weekly rain totals ranged from 0.01 inch at multiple stations to 2.60 inches in Burlington (Des Moines County). Statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.44 inch, less than half of the normal 0.90 inch. The week’s high temperature of 91 degrees was reported Aug. 29 in Red Oak (Montgomery County), 8 degrees above normal. Cresco (Howard County) had the week’s low temperature of 45 degrees on Sept. 1, which was 9 degrees below average.

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