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.
"Hot temperatures and lack of moisture continues to stress corn and soybeans as well as pastures and hay ground," Northey said. "Only 35 percent of the corn crop and 33 percent of soybeans are classified as good or excellent, which is down significantly from the August 5 report when 51 percent of corn and 52 percent of soybeans were in those categories."
Iowa experienced warmer and drier than normal weather during the week ending September 8, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Some rain fell in the western part of the State, but most areas continued to be dry. Hot temperatures pushed crops to mature, but crop conditions are showing stress from the heat and lack of precipitation. Statewide there were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 52 percent very short, 33 percent short, 15 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 41 percent very short, 40 percent short, 19 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Topsoil moisture was considered very short on over 50 percent of the acreage in the southern two-thirds of Iowa.
With nearly all the corn crop in or past the milk stage, 86 percent of the crop reached the dough stage, trailing the normal 93 percent. Fifty-four percent of the crop has reached the dent stage, 24 percentage points behind normal. Only 5 percent of corn was mature, just over two weeks behind normal. Corn condition declined slightly and rated 9 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 31 percent good and 4 percent excellent. With almost the entire soybean crop setting pods, 12 percent has begun turning color. Some of the earliest planted soybeans have begun to drop leaves. Soybean condition also declined and was rated 10 percent very poor, 20 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 30 percent good and 3 percent excellent.
The harvest of third cutting alfalfa was 84 percent complete, slightly ahead of the normal 82 percent, but still behind last year's 100 percent. Pasture condition continued to deteriorate, and was rated 30 percent very poor, 32 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 8 percent good and 1 percent excellent.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Iowa recorded another warm and dry week. Temperatures managed to fall below normal on Monday (2nd) and Tuesday (3rd) but were well above normal in most areas the rest of the week. Cresco and Williamsburg reported the lowest temperatures of the week with Tuesday morning lows of 41 degrees. Saturday (6th) was the hottest day with highs reaching 100 degrees at Lamoni, Knoxville and Osceola although cloud cover held highs to the mid 80's over parts of northwest and northeast Iowa. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 4.3 degrees above normal. The only rain of consequence came on Wednesday night into Thursday morning over the western one-third of the state. Little Sioux in Harrison County reported the most rain with 1.25 inches. However, rain of more than one-half inch was confined to parts of Woodbury, Monona and Harrison counties. Otherwise there were some isolated light showers over far southern Iowa on Sunday (1st) morning and scattered brief light showers across the state on Friday and Saturday. Much of the eastern two-thirds of Iowa received no measurable rain during the week. The statewide average precipitation was only 0.04 inch while normal for the week is 0.84 inches. A drier week has not been recorded since mid January.