IOWA — The first Iowa Crop Progress report of the year is out, and the last week of March only had a third of a day good for fieldwork. Wet conditions prevented most work but there was some grain hauling, manure spreading, and oat planting.
Moisture levels are high. Topsoil moisture is 38 percent adequate and 62 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture is 43 percent adequate and 57 percent surplus. No Iowa soil is estimated at short or very short levels, compared to last year where 12 to 20 percent of Iowa’s soil was short or very short water.
State Climatologist Justin Glisan says, “We are really, really wet across the state, and what we need is unseemly dry conditions. If we’re looking forward into April, our outlooks are above average temperature wise, which is good. But we’re also trending above average for precipitation”
Glisan says farmers will be watching out for compaction or getting farm machinery safely through fields. And to get rid of the flooding in the state, there will need to be a stretch of dry, windy weather.
Overall, this past year had the third wettest autumn on record, the third wettest winter, and 2018 was the wettest year since 1993.
Glisan says with major flooding already hitting the state, saturated soils, and record snowpack up north, Iowans could be on the lookout for more, “We’re more concentrated on the Mississippi side because of the snowpack in Minnesota. But we do have the still chances of flooding, especially below Council Bluffs where the levees have been breached.”