DES MOINES - Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today 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.
"Crop conditions continue to decline and that trend is likely to continue with the extremely warm weather that is being forecast for the week ahead," Northey said. "Hot temperatures and dry soils can hurt yields on both corn at soybeans at this point of the season."
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
While most of southern Iowa was dry, northern portions of the State received some much-needed rain during the week ending August 25, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Higher than average temperatures coupled with the lack of significant precipitation heightened concerns over soil moisture and crop conditions. Statewide there was an average of 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork.
A total of 28 percent of topsoil and 34 percent of subsoil was in the adequate and surplus moisture categories, both declining 7 percentage points from last week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 35 percent very short, 37 percent short, 28 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 26 percent very short, 40 percent short, 33 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. With 95 percent of topsoil in the very short and short categories, the Southeast district was the driest in the State.
With nearly all the corn crop silked, 80 percent of the crop reached the milk stage, trailing the normal 95 percent. Forty-six percent of the crop has reached the dough stage, well behind the normal 77 percent. Nine percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage, more than two weeks behind normal. Corn condition declined from the previous week, and was rated at 6 percent very poor, 15 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 37 percent good and 7 percent excellent. With almost all the soybean crop blooming, pods were being set on 83 percent of the soybean crop, behind last year's 98 percent and the normal 95 percent.
Soybean condition declined slightly from last week and was rated 6 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 37 percent good and 8 percent excellent.
The warm and mostly dry conditions allowed harvest of third cutting alfalfa hay to reach 61 percent complete, matching the normal pace, but still well behind last year's 95 percent.
Both hay and pasture conditions continued to deteriorate, and the amount rated in the good and excellent categories fell 5 and 6 percentage points, respectively. Hay condition was rated at 8 percent very poor, 17 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 36 percent good and 5 percent excellent. Pasture condition rated 15 percent very poor, 26 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 20 percent good and 2 percent excellent.