Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7 - 1st Crop Progress and Condition Report of the Season!


For the week ending April 6, 2014, precipitation in the form of snow and rain was light and averaged less than half an inch of moisture across most of Nebraska, providing little or no relief from dry conditions, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.  Southwestern counties continued to experience severe or extreme drought.  Temperatures averaged 2 to 4 degrees below normal across the northern two-thirds of the state and near normal across the south.  Cool season grasses had yet to show much growth due to below normal temperatures and limited soil moisture.  Fieldwork consisted of spring tillage and fertilizer applications.  Oat planting was underway. There were 5.0 days suitable for field work. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 16 percent very short, 44 short, 40 adequate, and 0 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 18 percent very short, 40 short, 42 adequate, and 0 surplus.
Field Crops Report:

Winter wheat condition rated 3 percent very poor, 10 poor, 31 fair, 50 good, and  6 excellent.  Oats planting was at 7 percent, well behind 40 percent last year and 17 percent, 5 year average.
Livestock, Pasture and Range Report:

Stock water supplies rated 4 percent very short, 14 short, 82 adequate, and 0 surplus.  

Hay and forage supplies rated 1 percent very short, 6 short, 90 adequate, and 3 surplus.

Cattle and calf condition  rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 10  fair, 80 good, and 9 excellent. Cattle and calf losses  rated  5  percent  below  average,  91  average,  and  4  above  average.  Percentage  of  cows  calved  since  January 1 was 68 percent.

Sheep and lamb condition rated 0 percent very poor, 0 poor, 14 fair, 82 good, and 4 excellent.  Sheep and lamb losses rated 0 percent below average, 99 average, and 1 above average.

Access the National publication for Crop Progress and Condition tables at:

Access the High Plains Region Climate Center for Temperature and Precipitation Maps at:

Access the U.S. Drought Monitor at:


Warmer temperatures allowed some farmers to do fieldwork during the week  ending  April  6,  2014,  according  to  the  USDA,  National Agricultural Statistics Service.   Statewide  there were 1.7 days suitable for  fieldwork.    Farmers  in  northern  Iowa  were  able  to  get  some fieldwork done early  in  the week before being halted by precipitation.  Southern  Iowa  farmers were able  to spend more  time  in  the  field with the South Central District averaging 4 days suitable,  the highest  in  the State.   Activities  for  the week  included applying  fertilizer and seeding oats.   Farmers across  the state were also busy preparing machinery  for the upcoming planting season.  

Topsoil moisture  levels  rated  8  percent  very  short,  30  percent  short, 57 percent  adequate  and  5  percent  surplus.    Subsoil  moisture  levels rated 16 percent very  short, 44 percent  short, 39 percent  adequate and 1 percent surplus.  Frost was still in the ground in most parts of the State causing little moisture to absorb to subsoil levels.

Seven percent of oats have been planted, 2 percent behind last year and 22  percent  behind  average.    Pasture  condition  rated  19  percent  very poor, 27 percent poor, 35 percent  fair, 19 percent good  and 0 percent excellent.   Most  pastures were  dormant  or  just  starting  to  turn  color.  Livestock  conditions  were  reported  as  good,  except  for  areas  where hogs have been affected by Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv).


Provided by Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Dept of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Iowa experienced  typically variable early spring weather over  the past week.     The  reporting week began with  temperatures above normal on Sunday  (30th)  and Monday  (1st)  with  high  temperatures  in  the  60’s northeast  and  70’s  southwest  both  days.      Little  Sioux  and  Sidney reached 77 degrees on Sunday while Clarinda had  the week’s highest temperature  with  a  79  degree  reading  on Monday.      Across  parts  of northeastern  Iowa  this  was  the  first  time  since  November  17  that temperatures  climbed  higher  than  the  40’s.     However,  a  strong  cold front entered northwest Iowa late Monday morning and passed through all  of  the  state  by  that  evening.      Temperatures were  below  freezing statewide  by  sunrise  Tuesday  (1st)  with  Holstein  reporting  a  low  of 14 degrees.           Light  rain  fell across most of  the state on Monday but with amounts mostly under one-tenth of an inch.    Cooler than normal weather prevailed  for  the  remainder of  the  reporting week.     Daytime highs were  only  in  the mid  30’s  over  northwestern  Iowa  on Tuesday, Thursday  and  Friday.      The  week’s  heaviest  precipitation  fell  on Thursday  (3rd)  with  early  morning  thunderstorms  bringing  slightly more  than  an  inch  of  rain  to  far  southeastern  Iowa  while  snow  fell across  the  northwest  one-half  of  the  state.        Keokuk  Airport  and Burlington reported the most rain with 1.33 inches while greatest snow amounts were  reported  at  Sibley  (7.8  inches)  and  near Cleghorn  (9.0 inches).   Morning low temperatures on Saturday (5th) fell to 16 degrees at Audubon and Atlantic.     However, Saturday afternoon  temperatures rose to the low 50’s north to low 60’s west.   Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 3.4 degrees below normal.     Weekly precipitation totals  varied  from  only  0.05  inches  at  Indianola  to  1.38  inches  at  the Keokuk Airport.     The statewide average precipitation was 0.40  inches or about two-thirds of the weekly normal of 0.64 inches.   This was the 18th week  among  the  past  21 weeks with  below  normal  precipitation and below normal  temperatures.         The  topsoil has  thawed  throughout the  state  but  considerable  frost  remains  at  depth  over  parts  of  the northern one-half of the state.


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