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Serving: IA
cornfield
CORN 2019: The condition of Iowa’s corn crop improved slightly last week.

Iowa crop conditions still lag last year

State’s 2019 corn crop is rated 64% good-to-excellent — same for soybeans.

Dry conditions were observed across most of Iowa for the week ending June 30. However, locations across northern Iowa had above-average rainfall for the week, according to the USDA National Ag Statistics weekly survey report released July 1.

“The much-needed warmer temperatures have helped the crops progress,” notes Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig. “Some parts of the state had below-average rainfall over the last seven days, but subsoil moisture supply is still adequate for the crops to grow. While Iowa planting of corn and soybeans is late for both crops this year due to prolonged wet weather, the planting and crop growth in states located east of Iowa are running even further behind normal.”

Iowa’s corn crop is now rated 64% good-to-excellent, and planting is finished. Iowa soybean planting is nearly finished at 97% complete, the survey shows. For the nation, USDA says 92% of the soybeans grown in the major soybean-producing states are now planted. USDA says 94% of the nation’s corn and 83% of soybeans have emerged.

Overall condition of the 2019 U.S. corn crop is now rated 56% good-to-excellent in the top 18 corn-producing states. A year-ago 76% of the nation’s corn crop was in good-to-excellent condition. While Iowa is finished planting corn for 2019, Illinois is 95% complete as of June 30. Indiana corn planting is “all but wrapped up” for 2019, but its report gives no number. Ohio has 91% of its intended 2019 corn acreage planted. Thus, the eastern Corn Belt remains significantly behind in planting and crop progress this year.

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

Crop report

Iowa experienced scattered storms across the state that delivered high winds and hail, limiting opportunities for fieldwork during the week ending June 30, according to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities included planting, harvesting hay and spraying.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 0% very short, 2% short, 74% adequate and 24% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition was rated 0% very short, 1% short, 69% adequate and 30% surplus.

Corn condition improved to 64% good-to-excellent. Soybean planting has nearly finished with 97% of the expected soybean crop planted. Iowa’s bean crop is now 90% emerged, over two weeks behind the five-year average, and 1% has started to bloom. Soybean condition is rated 64% good-to-excellent, also an improvement from last week.

Iowa’s oat crop is 79% headed, eight days behind last year and behind average. And 9% of the crop has started coloring, nearly a week behind average. Oat condition is rated 64% good-to-excellent.

For Iowa, 83% of the first cutting of alfalfa hay has been cut, two weeks behind average. A second cutting of alfalfa hay has also started in some fields across the state. Hay condition declined to 63% good-to-excellent. Pasture condition is rated 70% good-to-excellent. Livestock experienced some stress with the recent heat. Feedlots remain muddy but have started to improve.

Weekly weather summary

Unseasonably dry conditions were reported across most of Iowa with locations across northern Iowa observing above average rainfall for the week ending June 30. “West central Iowa experienced rainfall deficits, an inch or more below normal. Unseasonable warmness also returned to Iowa last week with the average temperature 2.5 degrees above the normal of 73 degrees,” says Justin Glisan, state climatologist at the Iowa Department of Agriculture. 

A low-pressure system and cold front rolled across Iowa on Sunday (June 23), producing showers and thunderstorms to start the week. Partly to mostly cloudy conditions prevailed across Iowa with highs only reaching into the low to mid-70s. Rainfall totals at 7 a.m. on Monday ranged from 0.01 inch in Sioux City (Woodbury County) to 2.22 inches in Ringsted (Emmet County).

Tuesday (June 25) was an active weather day for Iowa’s southern half. Storms popped up in early afternoon, some becoming severe. Thunderstorms continued to form over this region into the night. There were multiple reports of hail across nine counties with Murray (Clarke County) having hailstones 2-inch diameter. There were also reports of severe straight-line winds causing tree damage from Decatur to Davis counties. Rain totals were in general range of 0.25 to 1 inch across Iowa’s southern third.

Locally heavy rain accompanied some of these storms; Creston (Union County) had 1.92 inches, 1.78 inches above average. Thunderstorms continued across western Iowa into Wednesday until the system dissipated midday. Skies cleared allowing highs to reach into the low to mid-80s.

Strong thunderstorms moved across northern Iowa during the early morning hours on Thursday. Multiple occurrences of severe straight-line winds and large hail were reported from Sioux County to Jones County. Locally heavy rain totals were also observed. Thirteen stations reported rain above 2 inches with New Hampton (Chickasaw County) getting 3.52 inches, 3.34 inches above normal. High temps across the northern third of Iowa stayed in the low to mid-70s where clouds and rain were present. The rest of Iowa saw temperatures in upper 80s and low 90s, 4 to 5 degrees above average. 

A large swath of east-central Iowa experienced thunderstorms on Friday as a system moved south from Minnesota. Storms intensified as they moved into southern Iowa, producing downpours and severe straight-line wind reports from Marion County to Des Moines County; 11 counties had high wind with minor tree and/or structural damage. Bloomfield (Davis County) reported quarter-sized hail.

Much of eastern Iowa had measurable rain with totals along the path of the system at 0.5 to 1 inch. Eight stations reported totals over an inch with Albia (Monroe County) getting 1.68 inches.

June 29 Iowa’s warmest day of year

Saturday (June 29) was the warmest day of the year statewide with average highs in the low 90s across northeastern Iowa and mid to upper 90s across the rest of the state. The average high was 95 degrees, 8 degrees above average. Isolated storms popped up in eastern Iowa, leaving behind 1.14 inches in Dubuque (Dubuque County). Overnight lows into Sunday remained well above average under generally clear skies. Under light southerly winds, the average low was 71 degrees, 9 degrees above normal statewide.

Weekly rainfall totals ranged from 0.01 inch in Des Moines (Polk County) to 4.27 inches in Creston (Union County). Statewide weekly average rainfall was 0.95 inches, while normal is 1.16 inches. The week’s high temperature of 98 degrees was in Little Sioux (Harrison County) and Mapleton (Monona County) on June 29, 13 degrees above normal. Cresco (Howard County) had the week’s low temperature of 53 degrees on June 26, which was 5 degrees below average.

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