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.
"Soil moisture continues to be depleted as the much of the state again received below average precipitation," Northey said. "Cooler than average weather has resulted in less stress on crops, but slowed development that is already well behind the five-year average."
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
Although some areas received precipitation, most of Iowa saw below average rainfall during the week ending August 4, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there was an average of 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork.
A total of 41 percent of topsoil was in the adequate and surplus moisture categories, a decrease of 8 percentage points from the previous week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 23 percent very short, 36 percent short, 40 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Fifty-four percent of subsoil was in the adequate and surplus categories, down 6 percentage points from last week. Subsoil moisture levels rated 11 percent very short, 35 percent short, 53 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.
Eighty-eight percent of the corn crop has tasseled, trailing the five-year average of 96 percent. Seventy-two percent of the corn crop was silking, well behind last year's 99 percent and the normal 89 percent. Nineteen percent of the corn crop has reached the milk stage, and some of the earliest planted corn has reached the dough stage. Corn condition declined slightly from the previous week, and was rated at 5 percent very poor, 12 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 41 percent good and 10 percent excellent. Seventy-nine percent of the soybean crop was blooming, behind last year's 96 percent and the five-year average of 92 percent. Pods were being set on 35 percent of the soybean crop, well behind last year's 74 percent and the normal 65 percent. Soybean condition declined slightly from last week and was rated 4 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 42 percent good and 10 percent excellent. Seventy-seven percent of the oat crop has been harvested, only 1 percentage point behind normal.
Farmers took advantage of the dry weather to make progress harvesting the second cutting of alfalfa hay, which now stands at 87 percent complete, 1 percentage point ahead of normal. The third cutting of alfalfa hay has begun and reached 6 percent compete. Hay and pasture conditions continued to deteriorate, and the amount rated in the good and excellent categories fell 6 and 11 percentage points, respectively. Hay condition was rated at 2 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 46 percent good and 8 percent excellent. Pasture condition rated 6 percent very poor, 18 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 32 percent good and 5 percent excellent.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
It was another mild week across Iowa with temperatures averaging below normal every day during the period. The coolest day in most areas was on Monday (29th) with highs mostly in the 70's with a morning low at Sheldon and Battle Creek of only 43 degrees. The warmest weather came on Thursday with high temperatures in the 80's except at Hawarden where it reached 90 degrees. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 5.3 degrees below normal. Rain totals were below normal over almost all of the state. The exception was over extreme southeast Iowa where thunderstorms brought locally heavy rain on Tuesday. Otherwise light rain fell over far southwest Iowa on Monday and over parts of the southwest two-thirds of the state on Tuesday. Light rain fell over portions of northern Iowa and also over the southwest corner of the state on Thursday. Finally, rain fell in a band from northwest to east central Iowa on Friday with a few locations in the far northwest picking up about two-thirds of an inch of rain. Weekly rain totals varied from only sprinkles at Cresco, Elkader, Fayette and Monona to 2.31 inches at Fort Madison. The statewide average precipitation was 0.30 inches while normal for the week is 0.95 inches.