“The heat is certainly on and helping the crop mature rapidly and nearly catching up to the five year average,” Northey said. “Fortunately, 80 percent of the corn crop and 82 percent of the soybean crop remains in good to excellent conditions despite heavy rains and flooding in northwest and western Iowa, damage from straight line winds in central and eastern Iowa, and dry conditions in southern and southeast Iowa.”
Areas of northwest and north central Iowa received rain with isolated heavy rain reported. Strong straight line winds cut a swath across central Iowa flattening corn and damaging grain storage and outbuildings. Power lines were downed and a great deal of tree damage was reported. Many farmers, especially in south central and southeast Iowa, would like to receive some rain.
There were 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Only northwest and north central Iowa had less than 5.0 day s suitable with northwest Iowa having just 3.3 days suitable. On the other extreme, southeast Iowa had 7.0 days suitable. Some areas in southeast Iowa have yet to receive measurable rainfall in July. Topsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 20 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 2 percent very short, 10 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus.
Crop production increased rapidly during the past week due to warm and humid conditions. Fifty-six percent of the corn crop is now tasseling, behind last year’s 78 percent, but only marginally behind the average 57 percent. Nearly one-third of the corn crop is silking, which remains behind the 57 percent in 2010 and the five-year average of 38 percent. Corn condition is reported at 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 16 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 28 percent excellent. Sixty-one percent of the soybean crop is blooming, slightly behind the previous year’s 67 percent and five-year average of 62 percent. Pods are being set on 6 percent of the soybean crop, compared with 17 percent last year at this time and the average 16 percent. Soybean condition is reported at 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 15 percent fair, 55 percent good and 27 percent excellent. Eighty percent of the oat crop has turned color, behind the 91 percent in 2010 and the average 85 percent. Twenty-one percent of the oat crop has been harvested, behind last year’s 32 percent but ahead of the normal 17 percent. Oat condition stands at 0 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 58 percent good, and 16 percent excellent. Second cutting alfalfa hay harvest, at 67 percent complete, is now ahead of last year’s 57 percent and the normal 55 percent. The condition of the hay crop is reported at 2 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 50 percent good, and 14 percent excellent.
Pasture and range condition was 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 16 percent excellent. Cattle are suffering from heat as well as fly infestations and pink eye. High heat and humidity are suppressing appetites and thus slowing weight gain.