2019 Iowa crop progress review

Iowa  saw  a  historically  wet  spring  with  rain  and  snow through  the  first  half  of  April  delaying  fieldwork  and planting activities. Precipitation throughout May and into June kept field conditions wet making it a difficult start to the  2019  growing  season  for  farmers  throughout  the state.
Planting of corn was nearly complete by June 16, with 98 percent of the expected crop in the ground, over two weeks behind the five-year average.
Soybean planting continued through the first week of July and was also over two weeks behind average. After a rainy start to the season, precipitation slowed down and fields began to dry up.
The weeks ending July 7 through SEpt. 1  averaged  5.5  days  suitable  for  fieldwork.  During  this time, areas of Iowa were rated as D1 moderate drought according  to  the  U.S.  Drought  Monitor.  Due  to  late planting,  crop  development  remained  behind  average throughout the season. Iowa farmers were able to start on corn and soybean harvest in late September, but were hindered by rain and snow creating wet field conditions.
Soybean harvest surpassed  last  year  during the  week ending  Oct.  20,  which  marked  the  only  time  this season a crop was ahead of the 2018 season. Farmers across  the  state  also  dealt  with  propane  shortages, slowing corn harvest due to the high moisture content of the crop and the need to dry it down. By early December, only  a  few  areas  of  the  state  had  reports  of  crops remaining to be harvested.
Corn planting was on par during the month of April; however,  planting was then limited, as early May brought consistent rain. By May 19, 70 percent of the corn crop was planted, nine days behind the five-year  average.  Planting  progress  remained  behind  average  and was not complete until the end of June.
Delays in planting and cooler than normal temperatures caused emergence to lag behind average. Corn was almost fully emerged by June 30, over two weeks behind average. Corn silking was virtually complete by Aug. 25, 15 days behind  average.  Ninety-seven  percent  of  corn  had  reached  the dough stage or beyond by Sept. 22, also over two weeks behind average. Ninety-seven percent of corn was at or beyond the dent stage by Oct. 13, 17 days behind average. Corn began reaching maturity  by  the  first  week  of  September  and  remained  behind average throughout the stage. Corn for grain harvest got off to a late start,  and  by  Sept.  29  only  two  percent  of  the  crop  had  been harvested, 11 days behind average.
Drier conditions in the weeks ending  Nov.  3  and  Nov.  10,  allowed  Iowa  farmers  to harvest 38 percent of their corn for grain to reach 64 percent, but progress  still  remained  behind  average.  Corn  harvested  for  grain was nearly complete at 95 percent on Dec. 8.
Corn condition started the season at a season low 51 percent good to excellent. The crop gradually improved and finished with a season high rating of 67percent good to excellent on Nov. 3. Moisture of corn being harvested  was  reported  at  21 percent  as  harvest  began and gradually fell to 19 percent by the final weeks of harvest.
A wet spring delayed planting of soybeans throughout the state.  Planting began in late  April,  but  planting progress was hindered by rain throughout the month of May and into June. No week in May saw more than three days suitable for fieldwork.
By June 2, just 41 percent of the soybean crop was planted, 18 days behind the five-year average. This was the smallest percent of soybeans planted by June 2 since 1993.  
Soybean  planting  would  continue  into  July. Seventeen percent  of the crop had  emerged by June 2, compared with the average of 63 percent. Nearly all of the crop emerged by July 14, over two weeks behind average. By July 28, 65 percent of soybeans had started to bloom and 13  percent  of  the  crop  was  setting  pods,  both  nearly two weeks behind average.
Leaves turning color got off to a late start and neared completion at 98 percent on Oct. 20, over two  weeks behind average. Harvest began slowly in late September, and remained behind the five-year average  through completion. During the  two weeks from Oct. 13 through Oct. 27, Iowa farmers harvested nearly half of the soybean crop, reaching 66 percent harvested. Soybean harvest was nearly complete at 98 percent on Dec. 1.
Crop conditions fluctuated between 60 to 65 percent good to excellent throughout the growing season. The final crop condition rating of the season was rated 65 percent good to excellent on Oct. 20.
 Oat seeding did not begin until early April due to wet field  conditions.  By  the  end  of  the  first  week  of  April planting progress was nine days behind the five-year average. However,  progress  picked  up  and  caught  up  to  the average  by  the  end  of  April.  Seeding  was  nearly complete  by  June  2  at  98  percent.  The  oat  crop  was almost fully emerged by June 16, over two weeks behind average. Oats headed remained around one week behind average  during  the  entire  stage.  
Oats  turning  color started  out  slow,  but  neared  average  by  July  28  at 94 percent complete. On July 21, 12 percent of oats for grain had been harvested, nine days behind average. By Aug. 18, nearly all oats had been harvested for grain at 97 percent complete statewide, equal to average.
Oat condition  began  at  a  season  high  66  percent  good  to excellent, and fluctuated less than five percentage points throughout the growing season.  The last rating of the season came in at 65 percent good to excellent.
The first cutting of alfalfa hay got off to a slow start and  reached 35 percent complete by June 9, over one week behind the five-year average. The crop condition peaked during the week ending June 23, with 66 percent of the state’s hay rated good to excellent.
The first cutting was nearly  complete  by  July  14,  with  33  percent  of  the second cutting also complete. Ninety-six percent of the second  cutting  was  complete  by  Aug  18,  six  days behind  average. The third cutting of alfalfa got off to a late start with only two percent of the crop harvested by July 28, nearly two weeks behind average. The third cutting  remained behind average with frequent rains that kept farmers from harvesting due to wet field conditions and the threat of rain.
The last crop condition rating of the season rated 57 percent good to excellent on Aug. 25. By Oct. 20, nearly all of the third cutting of alfalfa had been  harvested  at  97  percent  complete  statewide, almost three  weeks behind average.
Pasture growth was slow to begin, due to persistent cold, wet weather. Pastures had plenty of moisture as rains continued through May. By June 30, 70 percent of the state’s pastures were in good to excellent condition, which was a season high. Pasture conditions began to decline and by Aug. 18 condition ratings hit a season low with just 42 percent rated good to excellent.Most of the  pastures’  regrowth  had  gone  dormant  with  below average temperatures in late October.
The last rating of the  season  showed  48  percent  good  to  excellent  on Oct. 27.

Lake Mills Graphic

204 N. Mill Street
Lake Mills, IA 50450

Office Number: (641) 592-4222
Fax Number: (641) 592-6397

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