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 dry weather remains a concern as 65 percent of the topsoil and 59 percent of subsoil moisture is short or very short," Northey said. "While the cool dry weather was ideal for the state fair, crops need additional precipitation and warm weather as development remains well behind the five-year average."
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
Drier and cooler than average weather persisted across most of Iowa during the week ending August 18, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Although varying amounts of moisture were received in central and western portions of the State, the lack of significant precipitation was a growing concern for Iowa farmers. Statewide there was an average of 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Southwest Iowa received the most rainfall during the week, and had the least days suitable for fieldwork with 5.8.
A total of 35 percent of topsoil and 41 percent of subsoil was in the adequate and surplus moisture categories, both declining 6 percentage points from last week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 25 percent very short, 40 percent short, 34 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 19 percent very short, 40 percent short, 40 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.
With nearly all the corn crop tasseled, 93 percent was silking, behind the five-year average of 99 percent. Sixty-two percent of the corn crop reached the milk stage, trailing the normal 87 percent. Twenty-four percent of the crop has reached the dough stage, well behind the normal 60 percent. Some of the very earliest planted corn crop has reached the dent stage. Corn condition declined slightly from the previous week, and was rated at 5 percent very poor, 13 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 40 percent good and 8 percent excellent. With 95 percent of the soybean crop blooming, pods were being set on 71 percent of the soybean crop, well behind last year's 94 percent and the normal 89 percent. Soybean condition declined slightly from last week and was rated 5 percent very poor, 12 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 38 percent good and 9 percent excellent. Oat harvest was wrapping up across the state.