"Even with the frequent rains and high temperatures, much of the crop remains in good condition and the potential remains for a good harvest," Northey said. "The extremely high temperatures and humidity have stressed livestock."
Agricultural Summary: For much of Iowa, the first week of August picked up where June and July left off. Reports indicate most of Iowa received at least one inch of rain last week, with instances of over eight inches of rain in Central Iowa. This follows the wettest June on record and the fifth wettest July. Along with frequent showers, last week's weather included high temperatures and humidity, which has been good for crop development. However, the extreme conditions that have caused heat advisories have stressed livestock, with reports of heat exhaustion and even cases of death loss.
Iowa crops remain in mostly good to excellent condition with ample rain and high heat indices. Corn and soybean crops look extremely good in fields that have been able to absorb the consistent rains. As producers continue aerial fungicide spraying on corn, some yellow corn continues to show up as a result of nitrogen deficiency. Cases of sudden death syndrome, white mold, and aphid presence in soybeans have been reported as well. With farmers finishing oat harvest, reports indicate excess rain has taken a toll on the crop and the quality of alfalfa being produced. Pastures remain in good condition with productive growth, as rains continue to keep them from dormancy.
There were 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork last week, compared with 4.1 days the previous week. Central Iowa, at 3.6 days suitable, reported the lowest number of days suitable in the state for the second straight week. North Central and Southwest Iowa reported the highest with 4.9 days suitable. Topsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 60 percent adequate, and 38 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 56 percent adequate, and 43 percent surplus.
Field Crops Report: Nearly all the corn acres have silked, 81 percent have reached milk stage, and 38 percent have entered dough stage; all three remain ahead of last year and the five-year average. Corn kernels have started to dent in 4 percent of the crop, ahead of last year where the crop had not entered this stage and the five-year average of 3 percent. Corn condition remained virtually unchanged for the third straight week at 3 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 45 percent good, and 25 percent excellent. Ninety-seven percent of the soybean crop has bloomed, compared to 94 percent last year and 95 percent for the five-year average. Pods have set on 82 percent of the soybean acres, 3 days ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of the five-year average. Soybean condition changed slightly with 3 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 18 percent fair, 48 percent good, and 25 percent excellent. Oats harvested for grain increased 11 percentage points last week to 94 percent complete, 6 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of the five-year average. Eighty-eight percent of the second cutting of alfalfa has been completed, just behind the 89 percent completed last year and the five-year average of 93 percent. Alfalfa third cutting progressed to 29 percent complete, ahead of last year and the five-year average. All hay condition rated 5 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 45 percent good, and 14 percent excellent.
Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 50 percent good, and 19 percent excellent. Heat continued to take a toll on livestock last week. High temperatures and humidity have led to stress on livestock, as they struggle to find shade in order to get relief from the heat.