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Rain slows field prep work

By Staff | Apr 16, 2015


By USDA-National

Agricultural statistics Service

Wet conditions continued to slow fieldwork in Iowa during the week ending April 12.

Statewide there were 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Parts of Iowa experienced snow during the week and cool soil temperatures remain a concern.

After a slow start, farmers in northern Iowa continued to apply anhydrous, while applications in the southern two-thirds of the state were winding down.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 17 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 20 percent short, 75 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus.

North central Iowa reported the highest soil moisture levels with topsoil and subsoil moisture levels rated 95 percent and 87 percent in adequate to surplus, respectively.

One-quarter of the state’s expected oat crop was planted during the week ending April 12.

Forty-two percent of oats have been planted, five days ahead of last year, but slightly behind normal.

Four percent of oats have emerged, five days ahead of last year, but six days behind the average.

Pasture condition rated 41 percent good to excellent.

Pastures are greening up, but use by livestock has been limited due to slow growth.

Livestock conditions were reported as mostly good with some reports of calving nearing completion.



State climatologist

Showers and thunderstorms were widespread across Iowa each day from April 6 through April 9.

Dry weather returned for April 10 and Saturday.

Finally, widespread showers and thunderstorms brought rain to much of the state late Sunday into Monday, but fell too late to be included in this week’s totals.

Scattered reports of large hail were received across southeast Iowa on the evening of April 7, as well as across central and southwestern areas on April 8.

The most damaging severe weather occurred across eastern Iowa on April 9 with tornadoes confirmed in Clinton and northern Scott counties.

Snow accumulated from west central to north central Iowa the afternoon of April 9, with greatest amounts of 2 to 4 inches reported in parts of Crawford, Sac and Calhoun counties.

However, all of the snow was melted by noon April 10.

Rain totals varied widely each day with weekly totals varying from only 0.01 inches at Bettendorf to 4.45 inches at Lake Mills.

The most widespread significant rainfall generally fell from west central into north central Iowa where 1- to 2-inch weekly totals were common.

The statewide average precipitation was 0.88 inches, while normal for the week is 0.74 inches.

Temperatures varied widely with daytime highs only in the 40s over parts of northern Iowa from April 7 through April 10, while readings soared into the low 80s over potions of southeast Iowa on April 9.

There were scattered freezes on the mornings of April 6 and April 10, with a freeze over most of the northeast one-half of the state on Saturday morning.

Strong southerly winds rapidly pushed temperatures back above seasonal normals by Saturday afternoon and into Sunday.

Temperature extremes for the week varied from a low of 23 degrees at Belle Plaine on Saturday morning to an April 9 afternoon high of 81 degrees at Bloomfield and a Sunday afternoon high of 80 degrees at Little Sioux.

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 2.7 degrees above normal.

Soil temperatures at the 4-inch depth as of Sunday were averaging in the low- to mid-50s over most of Iowa.

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