Farmers chopping silage, harvesting seed corn

DES MOINES ? Iowa farmers had 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Sunday, Aug. 26, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

?Farmers are chopping silage and we have started to see seed corn harvest getting underway as well,? said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig.

The Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report is released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service weekly from April through November. The report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship?s website at or on USDA?s site at

According to the report summary:

Activities for the week included cutting hay, chopping corn silage, harvesting oats for grain, spraying for aphids, and moving grain.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 7 percent very short, 14 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 9 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 8 percent very short, 16 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus. In spite of recent rains, subsoil moisture levels in south central and southeast Iowa continue to remain critically low with greater than 90 percent rated short to very short.

Ninety-two percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage or beyond, eight days ahead of the five-year average. Corn dented was at 63 percent, nine days ahead of last year. Seven percent of the corn crop was mature, nine days ahead of average. Seed corn harvest has begun. Corn condition rated 73 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-six percent of the soybean crop was setting pods with 11 percent coloring, four days ahead of last year and five days ahead of the average. Soybean condition rated 70 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-eight percent of the oat crop has been harvested for grain.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 75 percent complete, four days behind the previous year but one week ahead of the average. Pasture conditions improved slightly to 43 percent good to excellent. Although pastures in south central and southwest Iowa were able to refresh after receiving much needed precipitation, some producers have been forced to haul water to livestock.


Weather summary

Cooler conditions were observed statewide during the reporting period ending Sunday, Aug. 26, with average temperatures up to 5 degrees below normal in some locations.

Much of Iowa also saw above average rainfall accumulations, generally ranging from 1 to 3 inches.

A large low pressure system continued to spin over the state on Aug. 20, bringing heavy rainfall to northern and western Iowa. Over 50 stations reported precipitation totals above 1 inch; Fort Dodge in Webster County recorded 3.95 inches. A weak tornado also was reported during the evening in Clinton County, damaging crops and trees.

High pressure dominated on Aug. 21, bringing cooler conditions to Iowa. Average highs were well below normal, especially in western Iowa; Denison in Crawford County observed a high of 65 degrees, almost 18 degrees below average.

Cool and dry conditions continued into Aug. 22 and over much of the state on Aug. 23, as the high pressure propagated across northern Missouri. Showers and thunderstorms moved into southwest Iowa the morning of Aug. 23, bringing measurable rainfall.

Another complex of thunderstorms developed along the Iowa-Missouri border early Aug. 24 bringing much needed rain to southeastern Iowa. Multiple stations in Appanoose, Davis and Wapello counties observed rainfall between 1 and 2 inches, with isolated totals nearing 3 inches. Severe storms also formed and moved rapidly through northern Iowa, with a few severe hail and high wind reports from Buffalo Center in Kossuth County to Mason City in Cerro Gordo County.

Leftover thundershowers moved out of eastern Iowa early the morning of Aug. 25, leaving minor accumulations.

On Aug. 26, another round of thunderstorms fired along a warm front, with two severe wind reports that evening in north central Iowa.

Weekend temperatures were up to 4 degrees warmer across much of Iowa, with Donnellson in Lee County observing the week?s high temperature of 95 degrees.


The weather summary is provided by Justin Glisan, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.