In general, Iowa's crops are in pretty good shape as of July 19, with 83% of corn and 77% of soybeans rated good to excellent, according to USDA's latest weekly survey. Nationally, corn is rated at 69% good to excellent, soybeans 62% good to excellent. The survey data, gathered July 19 and released July 20, shows improvements in Iowa, North Dakota and Ohio this past week. But corn in a number of states including Illinois, Indiana and Missouri slipped a little bit.
Soybean conditions slipped in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, while a number of other states improved in their soybean condition. Nationwide, 55% of the corn crop was silking as of July 19, ahead of last year's 53% and barely behind the 56% average. Soybeans nationally were 56% blooming and 17% setting pods, both of which matched the average pace.
Hot, humid weather makes crops grow, but hard on livestock
"The hot and humid weather like we experienced some of last week can increase the stress on livestock. Farmers are monitoring their animals closely to ensure they remain as comfortable as possible in the hot temperatures," notes Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.
The complete weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's website IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
CROP REPORT: Hot and humid weather throughout Iowa aided crop development for the week ending July 19, 2015, according to USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included cutting hay and fungicide application to corn. Tasseling corn was reported throughout the state.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 0% very short, 4% short, 79% adequate and 17% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0% very short, 4% short, 78% adequate and 18% surplus.
Survey shows 83% of Iowa corn, 77% of beans good to excellent
Over half the corn crop reached the silking stage, with 83% rated good to excellent. Soybeans blooming or beyond reached 62%, slightly behind 2014, but equal to normal. Fifteen percent of Iowa's soybeans were setting pods. Soybean condition rated 77% good to excellent last week. Oat acreage turning color or beyond reached 87%, with 28% of the oat crop harvested for grain or seed, three days ahead of last year, but four days behind the average. Oat crop condition rating declined to 79% good to excellent.
The first cutting of alfalfa hay made little progress, advancing just 1 percentage point to 95% complete. The second cutting reached 53%, slightly ahead of last year, but five days behind normal. Hay condition was rated at 69% good to excellent, while pasture condition rated 78% good to excellent. Livestock stress levels increased as temperatures and humidity remained high throughout the week.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—For week ending July 19, 2015
By Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Hot and humid weather dominated Iowa for much of the reporting week that ended July 19. The hottest weather occurred on Monday (July 13) and Friday (July 17) while temperatures slipped below normal in some areas on Wednesday (July 15) and Sunday (July 19). The combination of heat and humidity pushed official heat indices to 111 degrees at Burlington on Monday and 110 degrees on Friday while unofficial readings went even higher elsewhere over southern Iowa.
Hot, humid weather dominated Iowa much of this past week
Actual temperatures peaked at 97 degrees at Des Moines on Monday and also at Bellevue, Lamoni and Osceola on Friday. Lowest temperatures were sunrise readings of 56 degrees F at Cresco on Wednesday (July 15) and at Estherville on Sunday (July 19). Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 3.3 degrees above normal.
Most of the week's rain fell between late Wednesday (July 15) morning and Friday (July 17) morning with heavy rains of 2 inches or more falling over most of the southern one-third of the state, as well as some west-central sections of Iowa. Otherwise there were some scattered showers and thunderstorms over the northeast and southwest corners of Iowa on Monday (July 13). Light to occasionally moderate rain also fell over far northern, western and southern Iowa on Saturday (July 18). Finally, thunderstorms brought rain to far southern Iowa on Sunday (July 19) morning. Weekly rain totals varied from 0.17 inches at Bellevue to 5.61 inches at Clarinda. The statewide average rainfall was 1.30 inches while normal for the week is 1.02 inches.