Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural StatisticalService. The report is released weekly from April through October."The rain received last week was very welcomed but much more is needed to stop the further deterioration of both the corn and soybean crops," Northey said. "The hot and dry weather continue to present challenges for livestock farmers as they move animals off pasture and use hay and other feed they had anticipated using over the winter months."
Iowa received widespread rainfall with the heaviest precipitation in the central and northern parts of the state. Crop conditions continue to suffer as the rain was too late for some of the corn and winds flattened the weakened crop in some areas. Farmers continue to chop corn.
There were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture levels improved slightly to 71 percent very short, 25 percent short, 4 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture dropped to 67 percent very short, 29 percent short, 4 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus.
Ninety-seven percent of the corn crop is silking, ahead of last year's 86 percent and the five-year average of 77 percent. Sixty-five percent of the corn crop has reached the milk stage. Thirty-six percent of the corn crop has reached dough stage, two weeks ahead of normal. Eight percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage, the most advanced the crop has been at the end of July since 1987. Corn condition is reported at 18 percent very poor, 28 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 19 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Ninety-three percent of the soybean crop has bloomed, ahead of last year's 88 percent and the five-year average of 85 percent. Pods are being set on 57 percent of the soybean crop, ahead of last year's 43 percent and the five-year average of 47 percent. Soybean condition is rated 12 percent very poor, 22 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 24 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Ninety-eight percent of the oat crop has been harvested, just over three weeks ahead of normal. Harvest of third cutting of alfalfa hay, at 63 percent complete, is just over a month ahead of normal.
Less than one-fifth of Iowa's pasture and range land is rated in fair or better condition. Pasture and range condition rated 55 percent very poor, 27 percent poor, 15 percent fair, 3 percent good, and 0 percent excellent. Reports of livestock losses continued as temperatures early in the week again soared over 100 degrees.