Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey this week commented on the Iowa crop progress and condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
"The state saw spotty precipitation last week and the rains were mostly welcomed by farmers. Those who missed out on the recent rains would welcome some precipitation to help finish both the corn and bean crop," Northey said.
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:
Due to varying amounts of precipitation, some areas of Iowa had less than 3 days suitable for field work while others had more than 6 days during the week ending August 10, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.6 days suitable for field work during the week. Insecticides were applied to help combat growing soybean aphid populations.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 23 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 19 percent short, 76 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.
Over half of Iowa’s corn acreage was in the dough stage or beyond, more than 2 weeks ahead of 2013 and a week ahead of the five-year average. Seven percent of the corn crop reached the dent stage, ahead of last year but 4 percentage points behind normal. Seventy-six percent of the corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition. Over three-quarters of the soybean acreage was setting pods or beyond, almost 30 percentage points above last year, but only 4 points above average. Seventy-five percent of the soybean crop is in good to excellent condition. Oat harvest for grain was 87 percent complete, 3 percentage points behind the previous year and 6 points behind the normal pace.
The second cutting of alfalfa hay was 93 percent complete, just above last year but equal to the five-year average. The third cutting of alfalfa hay advanced to 22 percent complete, 3 days ahead of last year but just over one week behind normal. Sixty-six percent of all hay was rated in good to excellent condition. Pasture condition decreased for the fourth week in a row and now stands at 58 percent good to excellent. Stress on livestock was minimal with the cooler than normal temperatures.
Iowa Preliminary Weather Summary
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Temperatures averaged slightly cooler than normal for most of the past week while very welcome rain fell over much of the state. Most of the week’s rain fell from Tuesday evening into Wednesday afternoon over the southwest one-half of Iowa. Greatest rains from these mid-week storms fell across west central Iowa where totals reached 5.65 inches at Denison, 5.40 inches at Coon Rapids and 4.71 inches at Guthrie Center. Rain showers occurred somewhere in Iowa on all of the other days of the reporting week. Rain fell over much of eastern Iowa on Monday (4th) with a maximum total of 2.48 inches reported at Columbus Junction. Light rain also fell over much of the southwest one-half of the state on Thursday with a few higher totals of about two inches in Shelby County. Despite the frequent occurrence of rain this past week much of the northeast one-third of Iowa is still waiting for a substantial rain. Rain totals for the past week varied from only sprinkles at Forest City, St. Ansgar, Waterloo, Elkader and Clinton to 6.29 inches at Denison. The statewide average precipitation was 1.13 inches while normal for the week is 0.96 inches. Temperature extremes for the week varied from afternoon highs of 89 degrees at Rock Rapids on Sunday (3rd) and Des Moines on Monday (4th) to a Thursday (7th) morning low of 51 degrees at Cresco. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 1.7 degrees below normal.