The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

October 8, 2013

Shutdown's impact includes weather, crop evaluations

OTTUMWA — Oktoberfest week did something most Ottumwa residents would probably have thought impossible: Enough rain fell to put the area well on the way to a decent month, and it came without raining out any major events.

A strong cold front moved through the area Thursday and Friday, bringing rain to this area and severe weather to western Iowa. Combined, the two days officially brought 1.34 inches of rain. That's a fair amount for a two-day period and more than in either of the previous two months. It was the highest 48-hour rainfall measured in Ottumwa since May 28-29 — and that event saw more than two inches fall.

Sunday added another 0.13 inches to the October total. And the day's high of 50 was well below the average of 67.

There's a catch, though, when anyone tries to measure the impact the rain had. That data is collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service, or NASS, and it's crippled by the government's shutdown. The weekly report due Monday, which would include last week's rainfall and crop conditions, wasn't produced.

There's a limit to what the state can do to mitigate that impact. Dustin VandeHoef, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, said federal contractors gather the data on soil and crop conditions. The state contributes, but only in terms of climatology.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker said the crop conditions probably won't change much with rain at this time of year. “It's really, unfortunately, too late,” he said.

Corn and soybeans are far enough along that major changes just don't have time to have significant impacts. But there are areas in which it would be welcome. Iowa doesn't grow much winter wheat, but there has been an increasing push in recent years for cover crops. Hillaker said the rains could have a real benefit there, as well as with pastures.

Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • New boilers cost district $380,000 The summer boiler replacement projects will be getting underway after the Centerville School Board approved a $380,801 bid from Capital City Boiler and Machine Works out of Des Moines during their April 14 meeting. Six bids were received and the boar

    April 18, 2014

  • Troy Rider.jpg Judge grants motion on witness comments

    Judge John Lloyd has granted a motion, filed by Troy Neil Rider's defense, to limit extrajudicial comment by witnesses regarding the sexual abuse case against Rider. 

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DOT photo Public learns latest about Northwest Bypass at DOT meeting

    OSKALOOSA -- Many area residents learned the latest about the U.S. 63 Northwest Bypass of Oskaloosa at a public information meeting held Wednesday evening at Oskaloosa Middle School. The two-hour meeting featured tables with maps of the three propose

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 18, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Five Things logo -T -L -M Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — It's a weekend of Easter celebrations, historic events and educational opportunities in southeast Iowa. Many people are gathered together this weekend, and the surrounding communities have scheduled events perfect for the whole family. 1. S

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Saving Center color photo -T -L -M Hedrick building has friends HEDRICK — The community wants a civic center, and they've been willing to work for it. "I'd say we have 15 to 25 volunteers each time," Tommy Smith of Hedrick said. "These are all good people." Smith was volunteering his services at the Easter Brunch

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Iowa farmers preparing for planting OTTUMWA — Even though the winter seemed to linger like Iowa was going through an ice age and cold and wet weather has highlighted the early spring, farmers are starting to get out to their fields to put down fertilizer and get fields ready for planti

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Van Buren supervisors deny hog confinement permit application KEOSAUQUA — A proposed swine building in Chequest Township didn’t receive a seal of approval from Van Buren County Board of Supervisors. Supervisors voted Monday to recommend to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to deny the permit. Supervisor

    April 16, 2014

  • raceway concept drawing.jpg Raceway Rebate passes the House

    Rep. Greg Heartsill reports that the bill to provide up to $2 million in sales tax rebates to the Knoxville Raceway has passed out of the Iowa House of Representatives, 78-15. 

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

AP National