DES MOINES -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently 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.
"Rain and warmer weather this past week was welcomed by farmers following a cool and dry July," Northey said. "Unfortunately another round of severe weather caused crop damage, this time in central Iowa."
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:
Temperatures warm in time for state fair
Agricultural Summary: Temperatures above ninety, something Iowa did not experience much during July 2009, were welcomed by crop farmers to aide crop development. The heat was not the only thing welcomed as rain showers covered most of the state. Central Iowa received some timely showers as the crops were starting to show signs of stress. Isolated hail and damaging winds were reported again this week with heavy damage reported near Eldora. Livestock struggled with the heat as humidity levels were also elevated. Farmers continue to watch for aphids and other damaging insects. Iowa crop conditions have held steady or improved slightly as the first week of August ends.
There were 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared to the five-year average of 5.2 days. Topsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 12 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 12 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 82 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus.
Field Crops Report: Corn was 97 percent tasseled, behind the five-year average of 99 percent. Corn silked increased with 91 percent reported silking, 12 percentage points ahead of last week, but 5 percentage points behind the five-year average. Corn at or beyond the milk stage reached 49 percent, 8 percentage points ahead of last year, but 21 percentage points behind the five-year average. Corn reported at or beyond the dough stage reached 11 percent, ahead of last year by 2 percentage points, but 22 percentage points below the five-year average. Corn condition was rated 2 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 16 percent fair, 50 percent good, and 28 percent excellent.
Soybeans reached 95 percent blooming with 78 percent setting pods. Soybeans blooming are 7 percentage points ahead of last year, but 1 percentage point behind the five-year average. Soybeans setting pods are ahead of last year by 14 percentage points, but 4 percentage points behind the five-year average. Soybean condition was rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 18 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 25 percent excellent.
Oat harvest reached 86 percent complete, 6 percentage points behind the five-year average, but 14 percentage points ahead of last year. Oat condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 13 percent excellent.
Alfalfa second cutting has reached 90 percent complete, 5 percentage points behind the five-year average, but 6 percentage points ahead of last year. Alfalfa third cutting has reached 20 percent complete, 7 percentage points behind the five-year average, but 9 percentage points ahead of last year. All hay condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 27 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, 26 percent fair, 51 percent good, and 16 percent excellent. Gains for cattle on feed slowed last week as warm temperatures and humidity returned to the state.