"The mostly dry weather early in the week and more comfortable temperatures were good for crop development and provided needed relief to livestock," Northey said. "With everything planted and most weed control finished, we'll hope timely rains and few pests will allow the crop to continue development without interruption."
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov. The report follows here:
Independence Day rain ends dry week
Agricultural Summary: Just as many were gearing up for fireworks, rain began to fall over the holiday weekend on some areas. Many farmers were finally able to enter fields to finish herbicide applications. Temperatures were slightly below normal for what was a good week for Iowa crops and livestock. Some wind damage was reported in oat fields top heavy with grain nearing harvest. Reporters continue to comment on high stress level in muddy cattle feedlot pens.
There were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared to the five-year average of 5.5 days. Topsoil moisture rated 7 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 13 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 15 percent surplus.
Field Crops Report: The corn crop has just begun the tassel stage with 2 percent tasseled, compared to the 5-year average of 11 percent. Corn condition was rated 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 14 percent fair, 55 percent good, and 27 percent excellent. The corn stand was rated at 95 percent of normal with 100 percent considered normal. The corn stand's tallest height averaged 67 inches with an overall average height of 52 inches.
Most of the soybean acres have been planted with 97 percent emerged. Soybean emergence is slightly ahead of last year but behind the 5-year average. Soybeans blooming in Iowa reached 23 percent, 3 days ahead of last year, but 1 day behind the five-year average. Soybean condition was rated 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 16 percent fair, 59 percent good, and 21 percent excellent.
The oat crop reached 92 percent headed, 9 percentage points ahead of last year, but 3 percentage points below the five-year average. Thirty-two percent of the oat crop is now turning color, 10 percentage points ahead of last year but 16 percentage points behind the five-year average. Oat condition was rated 4 percent poor, 21 percent fair, 57 percent good, and 18 percent excellent.
The first cutting of alfalfa is 94 percent harvested, behind the five-year average of 97 percent. Farmers have begun their second alfalfa cutting as it is now 21 percent complete, compared to 27 percent for the 5-year average. All hay condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 48 percent good, and 12 percent excellent.
Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 21 percent fair, 51 percent good, and 21 percent excellent. Stress levels for cattle on pasture decreased with the temperatures, while feedlots continue to deal with constantly muddy pen.