DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
“Planting continues to lag behind as the continuing rains have prevented fields from drying and limited farmers’ ability to get in the fields,” Northey said. “Several days of warm dry weather are needed to allow fields to dry and to help those that have been planted grow.”
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
Rainfall continued to limit fieldwork for Iowa farmers during the week ending June 9, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fields already wet from the previous week, did not dry enough between rain events to allow significant planting progress to be made. Farmers commented warmth and sun would benefit the growing corn and soybean crops.
Statewide there was an average of 1.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week. East Central Iowa, with 2.5, had the most days suitable for fieldwork during the week. North Central Iowa, with 0.9, had the least days suitable. Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 42 percent adequate and 58 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 60 percent adequate and 38 percent surplus. The surplus subsoil rating is the highest since August 2010.
Ninety-two percent of Iowa’s corn crop was in the ground, 4 percentage points higher than last week, and still lagging behind the five-year average of 99 percent. Eighty-one percent of the corn crop has emerged, behind the normal 96 percent. Corn condition was reported at 3 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 44 percent good and 8 percent excellent. Farmers have planted 60 percent of the soybean crop, an advancement of 16 percentage points from last week, but still much lower than the normal 95 percent. Soybean emergence was 39 percent complete; well behind both last year’s 93 percent, and the five-year average of 83 percent. Both the planting and emergence for soybeans were the latest since 1993. Sixteen percent of the oat crop was headed, and the crop condition rated 0 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 58 percent good and 12 percent excellent.
The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 10 percent complete, well behind last year’s 96 percent. Many farmers were delaying cutting alfalfa until dry weather to avoid rain damage. The first hay condition rating of the year reflected 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 53 percent good and 15 percent excellent. Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 45 percent good and 23 percent excellent.