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Some field work gets underway in Iowa

By Staff | Apr 17, 2014

Above average temperatures in Iowa allowed more than 20 percent of the state’s expected oat acreage to be planted during the week ending April 13, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Precipitation fell towards the end of the week as rain turned to snow overnight Sunday. Statewide there were 3.9 days suitable for fieldwork.

Activities for the week included applying fertilizer and anhydrous, tiling, terrace construction, and spring tillage.

Recent precipitation helped improve soil moisture levels.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 6 percent very short, 25 percent short, 57 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 17 percent very short, 38 percent short, 43 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

Twenty-nine percent of oats have been planted, 10 percent ahead of last year, but 22 percent behind average.

The East Central and South Central districts have more than 50 percent of their oat acreage planted.

A few farmers reported oats starting to emerge. There were scattered reports of corn being planted, mostly in southern Iowa.

Pasture condition rated 13 percent very poor, 26 percent poor, 43 percent fair, 18 percent good and 0 percent excellent.

Most pastures were slow to emerge, but rains late in the week helped return some green to the area.

Calving conditions were reported as good.



State climatologist

Mostly dry weather with highly variable temperatures was the rule until Saturday evening when showers and thunderstorms moved into Iowa.

Daytime high temperatures were mostly in the 60s on April 6 and April 7.

Highs on April 8 were mostly in the 50s.

A freeze occurred over most of northern and eastern Iowa on April 9 with morning lows of 22 degrees reported at Grinnell, Atlantic and Stanley.

Strong southerly winds brought a rapid warm up by the afternoon of April 9 with highs in the mid 60s northeast to low 80s west with Sioux City reaching 83 degrees.

Highs were in the 60s on April 10 and in the 70s on April 11, but in between a freeze was reported over much of the northeast one-half of Iowa that morning with Grinnell dipping to 24 degrees.

Windy and warm weather prevailed Saturday with highs in the mid-60s northeast to mid-80s southwest.

Harlan, Clarinda and Des Moines were the hot spots with 86 degree maximums on Saturday afternoon.

A cold front slowly advanced across the state Saturday evening through Sunday bringing precipitation and much cooler weather to Iowa.

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from 3 degrees above normal at the southeast corner of the state to 9 degrees above normal over the far northwest.

The statewide average temperature was 5.8 degrees above normal.

Meanwhile, light rain was scattered over the northern two-thirds of Iowa on April 6, but with amounts mostly under one-tenth of an inch.

Light rain was scattered over much of the state on April 7, but again only a few areas managed a little more than one-tenth of an inch.

Conditions were dry from April 8 through April 11.

Showers and thunderstorms moved across the northern one-third of Iowa early Saturday morning, while thunderstorms were widespread Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

Weekly rain totals for the crop reporting week ending 7 a.m. Sunday varied from none across portions of far northwest and far southeast Iowa, including Le Mars, Holstein, Fairfield and Burlington, to 2.44 inches at the Marshalltown Airport and 2.45 inches at Fayette.

The statewide average precipitation was 0.44 inches, while normal for the week is 0.76 inches.

The Saturday evening storms brought reports of high winds and/or large hail from 32 counties.

However, moderate to heavy rain fell across the southeast two-thirds of Iowa after 7 a.m. Sunday and will be included in next week’s report.

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