As snowflakes blew across Iowa on Dec. 9, USDA released its final weekly crop progress report for 2019. The late-planted, late-maturing corn and soybean crops, along with wet weather this fall, slowed harvest progress this year — in Iowa and surrounding states. USDA’s statewide survey for the week ending Dec. 8 showed 5% of Iowa’s corn crop still in the field.
At 95% complete, Iowa’s corn harvest is over two weeks behind last year and about two weeks behind the five-year average. Normally, Iowa’s corn harvest is 100% complete by now. This week’s report didn’t include soybeans, which in Iowa reached near the 100% harvested mark the previous week.
As of Dec. 8, northwest Iowa was 98% finished with corn harvest. North-central came in at 99%, northeast Iowa at 90%, west-central at 94%, central at 95%, east-central at 95%, southwest at 96%, south-central at 92% and southeast at 97%.
Looking at the U.S. corn crop, USDA pegged it as 92% complete as of Dec. 8, below the five-year average of 100% for this date. North Dakota is still struggling with only 43% of its corn harvested. Wisconsin is only 74% complete compared with a 95% five-year average. Illinois is 96% complete, versus 100% for its five-year average.
“Warmer and dryer conditions over the past week in Iowa allowed our farmers to make significant progress in the field,” notes Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “With corn harvest now at 95% complete, Iowa is nearing the end of harvest 2019.”
The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress and Conditions Report is available on USDA’s website nass.usda.gov.
Iowa farmers had 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Dec. 8, according to the USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. However, snow and mud remained issues in parts of Iowa and delayed some fieldwork.
The statewide survey shows, as of Dec. 8 in Iowa, 95% of the 2019 corn crop has been harvested, over two weeks behind last year and two weeks behind the five-year average.
Northeast and south-central Iowa were able to make enough corn harvest progress to reach at least 90% complete. Farmers in all areas of Iowa have now completed at least 90% of their corn harvest for grain. Moisture content of corn being harvested for grain remained at 19% last week.
Livestock producers continue to use hay for supplemental feeding. Feedlots stayed muddy with warmer temperatures and snow melt this past week.
Iowa experienced a quiet week of weather with unseasonably dry conditions statewide. Many stations in western Iowa reported no measurable precipitation, while isolated locations in north-central Iowa had totals over one-quarter of an inch.
This was the driest week of the extended reporting season. Warmer-than-average temperatures also prevailed with positive departures of up to 6 degrees reported. Iowa’s average temperature during the reporting period was 32.6 degrees, 6.3 degrees above normal.
That summary for the week ending Dec. 8 is provided by Justin Glisan, state climatologist with that Iowa Department of Agriculture. He also provides the daily details.
Last week began with a strong low-pressure system moving out of northeast Iowa through Sunday (Dec. 1) afternoon. Gusty northwest winds and overcast conditions persisted through the day as highs remained in the upper 20s across northern Iowa and lower 30s across the rest of the state.
Precipitation totals were generally under a tenth of an inch though 9 stations reported higher totals ranging from 0.12 inch in Creston (Union County) to 0.46 inch in Stanley (Buchanan County). Snow fell across parts of central and eastern Iowa with very light accumulations; Fort Dodge (Webster County) reported the highest total of 1 inch.
The previous 24 hours ending at 7 a.m. Monday (Dec. 2) was the only period in which precipitation fell for the entire reporting period. Cloud cover gradually cleared throughout the day as winds shifted to a southerly direction by evening.
High temperatures peaked in the middle 30s while overnight lows into Tuesday (Dec. 3) dipped into the upper 20s and low 30s. Sunny skies persisted throughout the day with quite the range of high temperatures.
Northern Iowa stayed in the mid-30s, while southern Iowa reached into the mid-50s, 10 to 15 degrees above average. Statewide average high was 48 degrees, 12 degrees above normal. Morning lows, in the upper 20s to mid-30s, were also on average 9 degrees above normal.
Wednesday (Dec. 4) was another sunny and unseasonably warm day with temperatures reaching into the mid to upper 50s across Iowa’s southern half. A weak cold front pushing through northwest Iowa later in the day began dropping temperatures into the upper 30s and lower 40s. As with Tuesday, statewide average high was 12 degrees above normal, at 48 degrees. Behind the front, morning lows into Thursday (Dec. 5) dropped into the 20s under clear skies.
Temperatures again were warmer than average, though cooler than the previous two days. A dome of high pressure over the Dakotas moved towards Iowa into Friday (Dec. 6) clearing out cloudy conditions that existed overnight. Cooler conditions were reported across the state with highs in the upper 20s north to low 30s south.
Blustery southerly winds and clear skies boosted temperatures on Saturday (Dec. 7) into the 40s. The overnight hours into Sunday (Dec. 8) were warmer than normal as the average statewide low was 27 degrees, 11 degrees above normal.
Weekly precipitation totals ranged from no accumulation at numerous stations to 0.46 inch in Stanley (Buchanan County). Statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.02 inch, while the normal is 0.33 inch.
The week’s high temperature of 61 degrees was reported on Dec. 5 in Osceola (Clarke County), 24 degrees above normal. The week’s low temperature of 4 degrees was reported on Dec. 2 at Estherville Municipal Airport (Emmet County), 11 degrees below normal. Soil temperatures as of Dec. 8 were generally in the mid-30s north to low-40s south.