Weather helps crops progress iowa
The warmest and driest extended period of weather this year was seen across Iowa during the week ending July 7, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Iowa Field Office, July 8.
The weather allowed field crops to develop, although some areas reported crops were beginning to need moisture. Statewide there was an average of 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, the most of any week this year. Northeast Iowa had only 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork and was the only district with less than six days suitable. Farmers were finishing side dressing fields.
The drier weather led to a decrease in both topsoil and subsoil moisture levels. Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 11 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus.
With reports of corn beginning to tassel in scattered fields across the state, the amount of the crop in good to excellent condition increased to 58 percent, a 1 percentage point increase from the previous week. Corn condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 44 percent good and 14 percent excellent.
Ninety-five percent of the soybean crop has emerged; 3 percentage points behind the five-year average. Soybeans condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 44 percent good and 12 percent excellent.
Ninety-four percent of the oat crop was headed, 1 percentage point behind the normal. Twenty-three percent of the oat crop has turned color, behind last year’s 89 percent and the five-year average of 51 percent. The oat condition rated 0 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 52 percent good and 13 percent excellent.
Farmers were close to wrapping up the first cutting of alfalfa and beginning to harvest the second cutting. The first cutting now stands at 97 percent complete, 1 percentage point ahead of normal, while the second cutting is 8 percent complete, 30 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Hay condition was rated at 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 53 percent good and 16 percent excellent.
Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 48 percent good and 20 percent excellent. Heat and insects were putting stress on livestock.