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Northwest Iowa Crops Page
by Todd Vagts
ISU Extension Crops Specialist
Counties Served:  Carroll, Calhoun, Crawford, Ida, Monona, Pocahontas and Sac.

[Home][ISU Extension][IA State University]

Return to subsoil moisture sampling homepage

Fall 2003 Subsoil Moisture Survey Results

  • Counties:  Carroll, Calhoun, Sac, Crawford, Monona and Ida
  • Date Sampled:  October 23 (Sac County), October 27 (Carroll, Calhoun Ida, Monona and Pocahontas Counties).

Graphs (pdf)
Detailed Excel worksheet

State-wide map and Commentary by Elwynn Taylor

Results from this fallís sampling indicate that west-central and north-west IA (as may have been expected) is going into the winter season with a very dry soil profile.  The average plant available water in the 7-county area is 2.6 of a potential 11 inches, or 24% of the soils capacity.  The regionís soil moisture level is 56% of the 5-year fall average compared to last fallís 180% of the 5-year fall average.  The soil moisture sampling occurred the last week of October, so the rainfall the area received in early November is not represented in these data.

Last springís sampling indicated very good soil moisture profiles across the region representing the plentiful rainfall the area received in the fall of 2002.  When compared to the average spring moisture levels (1999 Ė 2003), the spring 2003 sub-soil moisture condition is about 115% of the 5-year average.   The stored moisture greatly benefited the 2003 crop through many dry periods. 

Southern Sac and Carroll counties were the only areas showing decent fall soil moisture levels with moistures ranging from 3.9 to 6.4 inches plant available water.  All other areas had plant available water at levels less than 3.2 inches (29% of capacity) with a low of 0.5 inches near Castana in Monona County.  Much above normal precipitation during the fall and spring period will be required to bring soil moisture levels up to levels we would like to see in the spring.  Figuring about 70% efficiency in capturing precipitation in the soil, the area will need about 10.7 inches of rain before planting to bring the soil to capacity.

2003 Fall Subsoil Moisture Survey Results

      Previous Sample Plant Available Water    60-inch soil profile
County Township Town Crop Date Inches % of Capacity
Carroll Washington Carroll Soybean 10/27/03 3.9 31.0%
             
Crawford Paradise Dow City Corn 10/27/03 1.8 15.8%
             
Crawford Paradise Dow City Soybean 10/27/03 2.2 19.2%
             
Ida Grant S-C Ida County Corn 10/27/03 1.3 10.7%
             
Ida Maple Battle Creek Corn 10/27/03 2.2 18.0%
             
Ida Griggs Holstein Corn 10/27/03 3.4 27.1%
             
Monona Center Castana Soybean 10/27/03 0.5 4.1%
             
Monona Center Castana Corn 10/27/03 1.3 11.6%
             
Monona Center Castana Soybean 10/27/03 1.0 8.8%
             
Sac Richland Odebolt north Corn 10/23/03 2.6 21.0%
             
Sac Eurek Schaller Soybean 10/23/03 2.8 22.5%
             
Sac Jackson Sac City Corn 10/23/03 4.0 39.6%
             
Sac Sac Auburn Soybean 10/23/03 6.4 65.5%
             
Sac Wheeler Odebolt South Corn 10/23/03 2.8 22.5%
             
Poke Roosevelt Gillmore City Soybean 10/27/03 3.2 28.5%
             
Calhoun Elm Grove Yetter Soybean 10/27/03 1.9 16.8%
             
Area Average         2.6 22.7%

 

Historical Fall Sample Results

      PAW - Inches (Fall) % of Fall Average
County Township Town 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 2003
Carroll Washington Carroll 3.9 11.5 8.0 5.8   53%
                 
Crawford Paradise Dow City 1.8 3.0 2.1 3.9 3.3 65%
                 
Crawford Paradise Dow City 2.2 7.3 4.3 3.6 1.8 58%
                 
Ida Grant S-C Ida County 1.3 7.6 3.4 1.8 4.0 35%
                 
Ida Maple Battle Creek 2.2 8.5 5.5 1.2 2.5 56%
                 
Ida Griggs Holstein 3.4 11.3 7.3 1.6 2.0 66%
                 
Monona Center Castana 0.5 4.4 1.8 1.2   24%
                 
Monona Center Castana 1.3 5.2 4.0 2.2   42%
                 
Monona Center Castana 1.0 3.5 0.7 0.0   79%
                 
Sac Richland Odebolt north 2.6 11.8 7.8 4.4 5.4 41%
                 
Sac Eurek Schaller 2.8 11.3 9.8 3.8 2.3 47%
                 
Sac Jackson Sac City 4.0 12.8 8.5 4.7 4.8 57%
                 
Sac Sac Auburn 6.4 8.8 7.7 2.8 4.4 106%
                 
Sac Wheeler Odebolt South 2.8 9.6 6.2 3.4 4.1 53%
                 
Poke Roosevelt Gillmore City 3.2 8.5 6.2     53%
                 
Calhoun Elm Grove Yetter 1.9 8.0 0.0     57%
                 
Area Average     2.6 8.3 5.2 2.9 3.5 56%

Graphs (pdf)
Detailed Excel worksheet

Return to subsoil moisture sampling homepage

Todd Vagts
Iowa State University Extension
Field Crops Specialist
1240 D. Heires Avenue 
Carroll, IA 51401 
Office: 712-792-2364; Cell: 712-249-6025;  Fax: 712-792-2366
Email: vagts@iastate.edu  

 

This page last updated on 03/29/04

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

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