Due to the Federal government shutdown, the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) has not completed the weekly crop progress and condition report that is released weekly during the growing season. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey issued a statement Monday on harvest progress, however.
Northey said “Unfortunately due to the Federal government shutdown we will not have a crop progress report this week. In general, what I’m hearing from around the state is that many farmers were able to start harvesting before the wet weather moved in late last week. If we get several days of dry, warm weather this week as forecasted, that will help crops dry down and farmers will again be busy harvesting both corn and soybeans.”
State Climatologist Harry Hillaker, with the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship says weather-wise, the big news of the week was the severe weather impacting northwestern Iowa on Friday (4th) evening. Damage surveys are ongoing, however it would appear that this was Iowa’s largest tornado event for so late in the year since the outbreak of November 12, 2005. Tornado damage was reported from Woodbury, Plymouth, Cherokee and Buena Vista counties with large hail and high winds reported from an additional 15 counties across north central, southwest and central Iowa.
The past reporting week began with dry weather prevailing from Sunday (29th) through Wednesday (2nd) afternoon. Thunderstorms developed over western Iowa late Wednesday and spread across far northern and far southern Iowa on Thursday (3rd) morning. Thunderstorms brought widespread moderate to heavy rain from west central into east central Iowa late Thursday into Friday afternoon with a few reports of large hail and high wind in central Iowa. Friday evening’s storms were mostly confined to about the northwest one-half of the state with the heaviest rains centered upon Worth, Mitchell and Floyd counties. Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.02 inches at Fairfield to 5.19 inches near Colwell in Floyd County.
The statewide average precipitation was 1.19 inches while normal for the week is 0.69 inches. This was Iowa’s wettest week in 14 weeks (late June). Meanwhile, unseasonably warm and humid air dominated the state from Monday (30th) through Friday (4th) with afternoon highs reaching into the 80’s each day over much of Iowa. Sunday (29th) and Saturday (5th) at the beginning and end of the period brought seasonal temperatures. Temperature extremes varied from afternoon highs of 88 degrees at Sioux City on Wednesday (2nd) and at Donnellson, Fort Madison and Keokuk on Friday (4th) to Saturday (5th) morning lows of 37 degrees at Hawarden, Le Mars, Rock Rapids, Sibley and Sioux Center. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 7.7 degrees above normal.