An excellent crop is nearing harvest in Iowa, with corn maturity lagging slightly, according to the latest USDA statewide weekly survey. Fully 83% of the 2016 Iowa corn crop and 82% of the soybean crop is rated in good-to-excellent condition as of Sept. 4. And 80% of Iowa's corn crop has dented or passed the dent stage, which is five days ahead of normal, although only 14% of the corn crop has hit maturity, which USDA says is three days behind normal.
Iowa corn and soybean crops are moving quickly to maturity
“Crops are moving quickly towards maturity and we are likely a couple of weeks away from the start of widespread harvest activity. We are starting to see some corn being chopped for silage. It is great to see some airplanes aerially seeding cover crops into standing corn and soybeans to allow the cover crops to start growing before the row crop is harvested this fall,” says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.
The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress & Condition Report is 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:
Last week was one of the driest weeks for Iowa in long time
CROP REPORT: Although spotty rains left some areas waterlogged last week, the statewide average for rainfall ended up as one of the driest weeks Iowa has seen this season. The dry weather in most of the state allowed 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork across Iowa during the week ending Sept. 4, 2016, according to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. Activities for the week included chopping corn for silage, planting cover crops and cutting hay.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 5% short, 86% adequate and 8% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 7% short, 85% adequate and 7% surplus.
14% of Iowa’s 2016 corn crop has already reached maturity
As of September 4 in Iowa 97% of the corn crop had reached dough stage or beyond, eight days ahead of the five-year average, with 80% dented or beyond, five days ahead of both last year and normal. And 14% of the corn had reached maturity, four days ahead of last year, but three days behind normal. Corn condition rated 83% good to excellent.
Looking at soybeans in Iowa, 35% of the beans have started to turn color, three days ahead of last year’s pace. And 5% of soybeans are dropping leaves, one day ahead of normal. Soybean condition is rated 82% good to excellent, despite reports of sudden death (SDS) and white mold in scattered soybean fields.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay is 87% complete, two weeks ahead of last year. A fourth cutting of hay has been possible for some producers. Pasture condition rates 63% good to excellent. Livestock conditions are reported as ideal in some areas.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending September 4, 2016
By Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
The past reporting week began with warm and humid conditions with scattered thunderstorms from Sunday (August 28) evening through Tuesday (August 30) afternoon. Dry and much cooler weather prevailed from Tuesday night through Saturday (September 3) with daytime highs mostly in the seventies.
Strong southerly winds brought much more humid air into the state Saturday night and Sunday (September 4) with scattered thunderstorms Sunday morning and afternoon over small areas of northwest and western Iowa. Much more widespread rain fell across far northwest Iowa on Sunday night but came too late to be reflected in this week’s crop and soil moisture statistics. There were no widespread areas of significant rain, rather hit and miss thunderstorms were the rule.
No widespread areas of rain just hit and miss thunderstorms
Parts of far northern and eastern Iowa recorded no measurable rain during the week. The Ames airport reported the most rain with 3.44 inches, nearly all of which fell in one hour on Monday (August 29) evening. The statewide average precipitation was 0.47 inches or a little more than one-half the weekly normal of 0.87 inches.
Only one week has brought less rain to Iowa in the past 15 weeks. Temperature extremes varied from a Monday (August 29) afternoon high of 93 degrees F at Burlington to a Friday (September 2) morning low of 46 degrees at Coggon (Linn County). Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 0.6 degrees above normal.