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.
“The cooler weather is nice reprieve and reduces stress on both crops and livestock, but the crop remains behind so we continue to need warm weather to help advance maturity,” Northey said. “Much of the state could still use some rain as corn can use over an inch of moisture each week during this part of the growing season.”
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:
Iowa farmers received a reprieve from hot weather during the week ending July 28, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Although rainfall lessened moisture concerns in some areas, crops were still in need of additional precipitation, especially in western Iowa, which received the least amount of rain. Statewide there was an average of 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork.
Forty-nine percent of topsoil was in the adequate and surplus moisture categories, an increase of 6 percentage points from the previous week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 15 percent very short, 36 percent short, 47 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. The rain was not significant enough to impact subsoil moisture ratings, which continued to decline. A total of 60 percent of subsoil was in the adequate and surplus categories, down 6 percentage points from last week. Subsoil moisture levels rated 8 percent very short, 32 percent short, 58 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.
Seventy-four percent of the corn crop has tasseled, well behind last year’s 99 percent and the five-year average of 88 percent. Half of the corn crop was silking, lagging behind last year’s 96 percent and the normal 77 percent. Five percent of the corn crop has reached the milk stage. Corn condition was rated 4 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 41 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Sixty-three percent of the soybean crop was blooming, behind last year’s 92 percent and the five-year average of 83 percent. Pods were being set on 14 percent of the soybean crop, trailing last year’s 54 percent and the normal 43 percent. Soybeans condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 41 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Ninety-five percent of the oat crop has turned color, now only 1 percentage point behind the five year average of 96 percent. Forty-seven percent of the oat crop has been harvested, 10 percentage point behind normal. Oat condition was rated 0 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 53 percent good and 11 percent excellent.
The 2nd cutting of alfalfa was 75 percent complete, only 2 percentage points behind normal. Hay condition was rated at 1 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 48 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Pasture condition were rated 4 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 38 percent good and 10 percent excellent. Livestock benefited from the cool weather during the week.