DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig commented today on the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report is published weekly from April to November.
“Despite a year of severe weather challenges, persistent inflation and highly pathogenic avian influenza, we approach Thanksgiving and the close of the harvest with a deep sense of gratitude. We are grateful for the hardworking and resilient farming families who continue to sustainably produce crops and livestock that feed and sustain consumers here and around the world,” said Secretary Naig. “Snowmelt from the first widespread snow of the season will improve soil moisture, while warmer temperatures will be welcome as we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving.”
The weekly report is also available on the USDA’s website at nass.usda.gov.
Harvest neared completion with 4.8 days suitable for field work in the week ended November 20, 2022, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Cold temperatures and snow limited additional field work to the application of soil amendments such as anhydrous, manure and lime.
The moisture status of the topsoil was rated as 17 percent very low, 35 percent too low, 47 percent sufficient and 1 percent excess. 24 percent rated the subsoil moisture as very low, 38 percent as too low, 37 percent as sufficient and 1 percent as excessive.
The grain harvest was practically complete at 97 percent. The moisture content of field corn harvested for grain remained at 16 percent.
Livestock were mostly in good condition with weaned calves and cattle fed on stalks.
Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Services
Winter conditions blanketed Iowa during the period, with the state’s first extensive snowfall. General totals ranged from two to four inches, with most stations measuring at least 0.50 inches. Unusual cold also persisted, with deviations of up to 15 degrees below normal; The nationwide average temperature was 23.8 degrees, 13.2 degrees below normal.
Cloud cover gradually cleared into Sunday afternoon (13th), with winds blowing from the southeast and daily highs lingering in the upper 20s to mid-30s. Monday’s (14th) overnight lows did not fall appreciably, remaining in the upper 20s in the north to the low 20s in the south as cloud returned. Light snow showers formed over northwest Iowa but dissipated by early afternoon, with temperatures still below normal but warming to the low 40s in southern Iowa. A wider shield of light to moderate snow pushed into Iowa overnight, reducing visibility and making for slick road conditions. Snow continued across much of Iowa through Tuesday (15th) as afternoon conditions remained cloudy with temperatures in the 20s. There was a brief lull in snow showers into the evening hours, with light snow re-developing over most of the state, making for another morning of treacherous driving conditions. Snow totals measured at 7:00 am Wednesday (16) were highest over a north-south strip in central Iowa, where nearly 120 stations observed at least two inches of wet snow; Mount Ayr (Ringgold County) observed 4.5 inches, while an observer in Swea City (Kossuth County) reported 5.9 inches with a statewide average of 1.8 inches. Another wave of light snow moved southeast in the later afternoon and evening hours, leaving a few tenths of an inch in its wake at most stations reporting snow. Webster City (Hamilton County) measured 2.0 inches by 1.5 inches in Algona (Kossuth County).
On Thursday (17th), blustery northwest winds developed with scattered light snow showers that persisted over parts of northern Iowa. Morning conditions were mostly cloudy with lows in the upper teens and 20’s; High temperatures peaked around midday before falling precipitously throughout the day and night. Pockets of snowflakes continued to fly through Friday morning (18th) with single-digit temperatures in western Iowa while low 20s were reported farther east. Winds turned westerly throughout the day, with afternoon temperatures remaining in the high teens to high 20s; The nationwide average high was 25 degrees, 20 degrees below normal. An upper level disturbance brought light snow over northern Iowa with southerly winds and clear skies in southern Iowa after midnight; Sioux City (Woodbury County) Airport picked up 0.2 inches of snow. Stormy north-west winds developed through Saturday (19th) with clear skies and altitudes ranging from the high teens in the north to the high 20s in the south. Stars were visible overnight as a shift to southerly winds indicated a shift toward warming temperatures. Morning lows, reported at 7am Sunday (20th), held through the teens with mostly clear skies.
Weekly precipitation totals ranged from no accumulation at several stations in southwest Iowa to 1.08 inches in Waterloo (Black Hawk County). The nationwide weekly average rainfall was 0.20 inches, while the normal is 0.45 inches. Donnellson (Lee County) reported a weekly high of 45 degrees on the 14th, six degrees below normal. Mason City Municipal Airport (Cerro Gordo County) reported the week’s lowest temperature of five degrees on the 19th, 18 degrees below normal. Four inch ground temperatures ranged in the low 30s in the north to the high 30s in the south as of Sunday.
(Contributed press release)