Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today 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 warm dry weather last week was very welcome and crops responded and look much better,” Northey said. “Everything has been delayed by the cool wet start to the growing season, but the dryer weather has helped both the corn and soybean crop and allowed farmers get back in the fields to finish any needed fieldwork.”
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:
The warmest and driest extended period of weather this year was seen across Iowa during the week ending July 7, 2013. The weather allowed field crops to develop, although some areas reported crops were beginning to need moisture. Statewide there was an average of 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, the most of any week this year. Northeast Iowa had only 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork and was the only district with less than six days suitable. Farmers were finishing side dressing fields.
The drier weather led to a decrease in both topsoil and subsoil moisture levels. Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 11 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus.
With reports of corn beginning to tassel in scattered fields across the state, the amount of the crop in good to excellent condition increased to 58 percent, a 1 percentage point increase from the previous week. Corn condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 44 percent good and 14 percent excellent. Ninety-five percent of the soybean crop has emerged; 3 percentage points behind the five-year average. Soybeans condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 44 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Ninety-four percent of the oat crop was headed, 1 percentage point behind the normal. Twenty-three percent of the oat crop has turned color, behind last year’s 89 percent and the five-year average of 51 percent. The oat condition rated 0 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 52 percent good and 13 percent excellent.
Farmers were close to wrapping up the 1st cutting of alfalfa and beginning to harvest the second cutting. The 1st cutting now stands at 97 percent complete, 1 percentage point ahead of normal, while the 2nd cutting is 8 percent complete, 30 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Hay condition was rated at 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 53 percent good and 16 percent excellent. Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 48 percent good and 20 percent excellent. Heat and insects were putting stress on livestock.
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IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Iowa recorded its driest week in 13 weeks (early April) with most locations receiving no measurable rainfall. Most of the week’s rain came on Tuesday (2nd) when showers and thunderstorms were scattered over the southwest two-thirds of the state. The greatest reported rainfall amount was 1.57 inches from a location a few miles north of Grinnell. Some of the stronger storms on Tuesday brought brief heavy rain and in some cases plentiful hail over small parts of central and south central Iowa. The statewide average precipitation was just 0.04 inches while normal for the week is 1.08 inches. The reporting week began with unseasonably mild conditions as temperatures averaged below normal from Sunday (30th) through Thursday (4th). Heat and humidity gradually returned over the weekend with scattered thunderstorms on Sunday (7th) afternoon and night (which will be included in next week’s report). Temperature extremes for the week varied from Monday (1st) morning lows of 48 degrees at Atlantic and Chariton to afternoon highs of 93 degrees at Spencer on Saturday (6th) and Des Moines and Newton on Sunday (7th). Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from two to three degrees below normal over the southeast to one to two degrees above normal over the northwest with a statewide average of 0.9 degrees below normal.