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 cooler weather is nice reprieve and reduces stress on both crops and livestock, but the crop remains behind so we continue to need warm weather to help advance maturity," Northey said. "Much of the state could still use some rain as corn can use over an inch of moisture each week during this part of the growing season."
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
Iowa farmers received a reprieve from hot weather during the week ending July 28, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Although rainfall lessened moisture concerns in some areas, crops were still in need of additional precipitation, especially in western Iowa, which received the least amount of rain. Statewide there was an average of 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork.
Forty-nine percent of topsoil was in the adequate and surplus moisture categories, an increase of 6 percentage points from the previous week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 15 percent very short, 36 percent short, 47 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. The rain was not significant enough to impact subsoil moisture ratings, which continued to decline. A total of 60 percent of subsoil was in the adequate and surplus categories, down 6 percentage points from last week. Subsoil moisture levels rated 8 percent very short, 32 percent short, 58 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.
Seventy-four percent of the corn crop has tasseled, well behind last year's 99 percent and the five-year average of 88 percent. Half of the corn crop was silking, lagging behind last year's 96 percent and the normal 77 percent. Five percent of the corn crop has reached the milk stage. Corn condition was rated 4 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 41 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Sixty-three percent of the soybean crop was blooming, behind last year's 92 percent and the five-year average of 83 percent. Pods were being set on 14 percent of the soybean crop, trailing last year's 54 percent and the normal 43 percent. Soybeans condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 41 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Ninety-five percent of the oat crop has turned color, now only 1 percentage point behind the five year average of 96 percent. Forty-seven percent of the oat crop has been harvested, 10 percentage point behind normal. Oat condition was rated 0 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 53 percent good and 11 percent excellent.
The 2nd cutting of alfalfa was 75 percent complete, only 2 percentage points behind normal. Hay condition was rated at 1 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 48 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Pasture condition were rated 4 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 38 percent good and 10 percent excellent. Livestock benefited from the cool weather during the week.
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 on Sunday (21st) and Monday (22nd). High temperatures were mostly in the 80's on Sunday and the upper 80's to mid 90's on Monday. Temperatures peaked at 95 degrees at Des Moines and Little Sioux on Monday with much cooler weather prevailing for the remainder of the reporting week. The coolest weather arrived over the weekend when daytime highs were mostly in the 60's and overnight lows mostly in the 40's. A few daily record low temperatures were recorded on Saturday (27th) morning with records set over much of the state on Sunday (28th) morning. Cresco reported an afternoon high of only 58 degrees on Saturday while Battle Creek in Ida County reported a low of 39 degrees on Sunday morning. This was Iowa's lowest July temperature since July 7, 1984. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 6.3 degrees below normal. This was Iowa's coolest week in eight weeks (early June). Meanwhile, there were three significant rain events during the reporting week. The first on Sunday (21st) brought rain to about the southeast one-half of the state with locally heavy rain in south central Iowa where Chariton reported four inches. The second event came on Monday (22nd) evening with the cold frontal passage. Rain was mostly confined to the east one-half of the state with heaviest rains in central Iowa with 3.37 inches at Hampton. Unfortunately this rain event was accompanied by large hail and high winds in many areas with severe storms reported from 25 counties. Finally, the largest event of the month came on Thursday (25th) evening with rain falling nearly statewide and heaviest rain falling from north central to east central Iowa with Allison reporting 4.05 inches. Rain totals for the week varied from meager 0.01 inch totals at Rock Rapids and Atlantic to 5.85 inches at Hampton. The statewide average precipitation was 1.02 inches or just above the weekly normal of 0.97 inches.