DES MOINES Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey 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 rains much of the state received last week were very welcome, but with so little moisture in reserve and hot dry weather persisting, more moisture is needed," Northey said. "With over half the state short on moisture in the top soil and subsoil we are going to need regular rainfall throughout the growing season."
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
Even with most of the State receiving rain this past week, there are areas still in need of moisture. Conditions for all crops improved slightly for the week. Spraying was limited as windy conditions prevailed most of the week.
There were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 14 percent very short, 40 percent short, 45 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. East Central Iowa is the driest with 78 percent of the topsoil moisture rated short to very short. Subsoil moisture rated 16 percent very short, 44 percent short, 39 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.
Corn silking has been reported in every district of the State except North Central Iowa. Corn condition is reported at 2 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 16 percent excellent. Eight percent of the State's soybean crop is blooming, with Central and South Central Iowa leading the way with 11 percent. Soybean condition is rated 2 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 51 percent good, and 12 percent excellent. Ninety-eight percent of the oat crop has headed, nearly three weeks ahead of normal. Thirty-five percent of the oat crop has turned color, well ahead of last year's three percent and the five-year average of seven percent. Iowa's farmers have started to harvest oat in each district of the State. Oat condition is rated 2 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 54 percent good, and 9 percent excellent. The second cutting of alfalfa hay, at 54 percent complete, is almost three weeks ahead of normal. Hay condition is rated 4 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 7 percent excellent.
For the third straight week, less than half of Iowa's pasture and range land is rated in good to excellent condition. Pasture and range condition rated 6 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 33 percent good, and 4 percent excellent. Moderate conditions continue to be favorable for livestock.