Contact: Dustin Vande Hoef
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)
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.
“Crops continue to mature and the outlook remains generally good with 83 percent of corn and 79 percent of soybeans in good to excellent condition. Some areas continue to be challenged by the weather while others face weed, insect or disease issues,” 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:
Although heavy rains were reported in some areas of the State; drier than normal conditions prevailed in other areas. Overall, Iowa farmers had 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending August 2, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included cutting hay and fungicide and insecticide applications. Humidity and heat aided crop development, but precipitation made harvesting hay and oats difficult in some areas. There were reports of weed and insect problems in soybeans and fungus in corn fields.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 6 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 14 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 6 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus. South central Iowa saw the largest increase in topsoil moisture levels, with 60 percent surplus, up from 51 percent the prior week.
Ninety-three percent of the corn crop reached the silking stage or beyond, with 30 percent reaching the dough stage or beyond. Corn condition rated 83 percent good to excellent. Soybeans blooming or beyond reached 87 percent, 2 days behind 2014. Fifty-seven percent of soybeans were setting pods. Soybean condition rated 79 percent good to excellent this week, up 3 percentage points from the previous week. Seventy-eight percent of the oat crop for grain or seed has been harvested, 5 days ahead of last year, but slightly behind the 5-year average.
The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 79 percent, 3 days behind last year, and one week behind the average, due to continued wet conditions. The third cutting of alfalfa hay is 13 percent complete, 8 days behind average. Hay condition was rated at 69 percent good to excellent, while pasture condition rated 76 percent good to excellent. Livestock experienced normal summer heat stress.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
The past reporting week began with very warm and humid weather prevailing through Tuesday (28th). Actual temperatures peaked at 95 degrees at Lamoni while the heat index reached 109 degrees at Burlington on Tuesday. A wide band of thunderstorms brought rain from northwest, through central, into south central Iowa on Monday (27th). Another area of thunderstorms moved through all but far northwest Iowa between early Tuesday (28th) morning and early Wednesday (29th) morning. Torrential rains fell with this second round of storms on Tuesday night across parts of south central Iowa. Cooler and mostly dry weather prevailed on Wednesday and Thursday with temperatures falling as low as 52 degrees at Sheldon on Thursday (30th) morning. Warmer and more humid weather returned for the weekend with scattered thunderstorms over the southern one-half of the state. Sunday (2nd) was the warmest day of the weekend with Donnellson reaching 94 degrees. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 1.5 degrees above normal. Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.09 inches at Oakland and 0.10 inches at Bellevue to 7.46 inches near Spring Hill in Warren County. The statewide average precipitation was 1.63 inches while normal for the week is 0.94 inches. The statewide average precipitation has been above normal for seven of the past eight weeks. However, precipitation amounts have been highly variable over the state during this eight-week period with very heavy rains over much of the southern one-third of Iowa while portions of the northern one-third have been drier than usual.