Drier-than-normal conditions prevailed across most of Iowa last week, allowing farmers to make progress toward finishing up planting their 2019 corn and soybeans. “This incredibly wet spring has been one for the record books on our farm here in Tama County,” says farmer Nick Kujawa. “We finally finished planting corn on June 2, and we will finish the final 80 acres of soybeans this week, weather permitting.”
USDA’s latest weekly statewide survey shows as of June 16, Iowa had 98% of its expected 2019 corn acres planted and 89% of its soybean acres. That compares to 93% for corn a week earlier, and 70% for soybeans. The five-year average shows 100% of the state’s corn is usually planted by June 16, and 98% of the beans.
“There were 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork last week, and farmers took advantage of the drier conditions to get nearly 98% of the state’s corn crop planted,” notes Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig. “Some farmers are still planting beans. If the weather continues to cooperate, most of the state should wrap up the 2019 planting season this week.”
This latest survey shows 88% of Iowa’s corn crop has now emerged, compared to 99% for the five-year average for this date. The state’s soybean crop is now 63% emerged, which compares to 92% for the five-year average. Nationally, U.S. corn planting is now 92% complete, behind 100% for the five-year average. Soybean planting in the U.S. is now 77% done, versus 93% for its five-year average.
The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress & Condition Report is available on USDA’s site at nass.usda.gov/ia.
For the second week in a row, mostly dry weather conditions allowed Iowa farmers to get work done in the fields. Statewide there were 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 16, according to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities included planting and replanting of crops, harvesting hay, spraying and applying nitrogen.
Topsoil moisture rated 0% very short, 4% short, 77% adequate and 19% surplus. Subsoil moisture rated zero percent very short, 1% short, 70% adequate and 29% surplus.
Corn planting has nearly finished with 98% of the expected corn crop planted. Iowa’s corn crop is now 88% emerged, over two weeks behind last year and the five-year average. Corn condition improved slightly to 59% good-to-excellent. Iowa’s 2019 expected bean crop is 89% planted as of June 16. That’s 16 days behind last year and two weeks behind average. Of the soybean crop, 63% has emerged, two weeks behind average. The first soybean condition rating of the season came in at 2% very poor, 4% poor, 33% fair, 53% good and 8% excellent.
Oats headed reached 41%, six days behind last year and six days behind average. Oat condition is rated 62% good-to-excellent. Dry weather allowed over a quarter of the first cutting of alfalfa hay to be harvested last week, reaching 61% complete. Hay condition improved to 65% good-to-excellent. Pasture and range condition is 66% good-to-excellent. There were no livestock issues reported last week, and feedlot conditions improved with the drier weather.
Weekly weather summary
Unseasonably cool temperatures returned to Iowa after a week of warmer-than-normal conditions. Drier than normal also prevailed across a majority of the state, with rainfall deficits between a half to an inch below normal in the western half of Iowa. Pockets of above-average rainfall were found in north-central and eastern Iowa. That’s how Jason Glisan, state climatologist at the Iowa Department of Agriculture, sums up the week ending June 16.
It began with a weak cold front moving through on Sunday June 9, bringing cooler-than-normal conditions across western Iowa. Overnight lows into Monday remained cool, dipping into the low to mid-50s; northwest Iowa reported lows in the upper 40s, 6 to 9 degrees below average.
Monday was dry and windy under mostly sunny skies. Northwest winds behind the cold front kept highs in the upper 70s, 2 degrees below average statewide. Tuesday saw rainy conditions across much of Iowa as showers, and a few thunderstorms moved through ahead of a low-pressure system. Northern and western Iowa had the highest rainfall, with totals up to 0.20 inch above normal.
The low with a cold front continued to move through on Wednesday, bringing measurable rain across much of Iowa. Two-day rain totals, reported at 7 a.m. on Thursday, ranged from 0.10 inch in Van Meter (Dallas County) to 0.86 inch in Waukon (Allamakee County). Statewide average was 0.22 inch, 0.12 inch below average.
Thursday was pleasant and mostly sunny, as a high-pressure system over Missouri brought nice conditions across to Iowa. Highs were in the low to mid-70s in eastern Iowa and mid to upper-70s across the western half; temperatures statewide were 6 degrees below average.
Friday remained unseasonably cool under partly to mostly cloudy skies with rain showers moving across much of the state. Another wave of showers moved through extreme southern Iowa into the morning hours on Saturday. Rain totals for the 24-hour period ending at 7 a.m. were generally under 0.10 inch, with higher accumulations near the Iowa-Missouri border. Creston (Union County) reported 0.67 inch.
Saturday afternoon was active with storms, initially across northern and eastern Iowa. Many of the storms turned severe almost immediately with multiple reports of hail and straight-line winds across 12 counties. A land spout tornado caused barn damage at Whitten (Hardin County). In the afternoon, strong storms popped up in central Iowa and eventually consolidated into a squall line that moved into eastern Iowa during evening.
Pockets of moderate to heavy rainfall, with totals ranging from 0.22 inch in Dakota City (Humboldt County) to 2.28 inches in Toledo (Tama County); nearly 20 stations reported measurements above 1 inch. Statewide average rainfall was 0.74 inch, 0.57 inch above average. Overnight lows into Sunday remained near seasonal with temperatures in the low to mid-60s.
Weekly rainfall totals ranged 0.10 inch at Allerton (Wayne County) to 2.59 inches in Garwin (Tama County). Statewide weekly average precipitation was 1.06 inches, while normal is 1.19 inches. Temperatures averaged 65 degrees, 5.2 degrees below normal. The week’s high temperature of 88 degrees was Ames (Story County) and Des Moines (Polk County) on June 15, on average 6 degrees above normal. Estherville Airport (Emmet County) reported the week’s low temperature of 40 degrees on the June 13 — 17 degrees below average.