Weather statistics tell the story of 2012 crop year
By Jean Caspers-Simmet
Date Modified: 09/10/2012 3:09 PM
NASHUA, Iowa —Iowa State University's Northeast Research Farm at Nashua is far short of moisture and way ahead on heat units.
When storms blew through in late July, it left corn, much of it with a weak root structure, flat on the ground, said Ken Pecinovsky farm superintendent.
Pecinovsky said the farm's 30-year average for rainfall is 27.97 inches.
Pecinovsky admits he cursed about the 4.97 inches of rain he received in May because it delayed planting by several weeks, but now he sees that moisture as a blessing in disguise.
The research farm was 3.41 inches below normal on June rainfall and 3.02 inches below normal in July. So far for August, the farm is 1.23 below normal. Rainfall was 1.71 in June, 1.77 in July and so far for August, 3.01 inches.
Normal rainfall for September is 3.13 inches and October is 2.62 inches. If the farm receives normal rainfall in August through October, it will still be more than 5 inches below the 30-year average at the end of the year.
Pecinovsky said it's much worse in other parts of the state. Kanawha has had just 11.01 inches of rain so far. Atlantic has had just 8.04 inches.
Temperatures were 15 degrees above normal in March, 2.19 degrees above normal for April, 5.15 above normal for May, 2.87 above normal for June and 5.22 degrees above normal in July. So far August is 2.71 degrees below normal.
Growing degree units are 19 above normal for April, 143 above for May, 70 above for June and 78 above for July. So far in August, 370 growing degree units have been accumulated. Normal for the month is 609.
Pecinovsky said that some corn he planted March 29 and April 12 is just starting to reach black layer. The corn planted June 1 isn't quite denting. The soybeans planted April 2 and April 17 have reached R7 and are starting to turn brown.