Iowa Corn Looking Good Entering Pollination Period

Iowa Corn Looking Good Entering Pollination Period

Weekly USDA survey shows 59% of Iowa's 2014 corn crop is silking as of July 20, and soil moisture is favorable.

About two-thirds of Iowa's 2014 soybean crop was blooming as of July 20 while 59% of Iowa's corn was silking, according to the latest weekly crop conditions survey conducted by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service.

For soybeans, blooms were evident in 67% of the state's crop—more than double the amount of blooms identified at this time last year. A year ago, only 16% of Iowa's corn was silking. This July 20 survey shows 77% of the state's corn and 74% of the soybean crop is in good to excellent condition. That compares with a 76% rating of good to excellent for the U.S. corn crop and 73% for the U.S. soybean crop.

MAKING CORN AND HAY: Iowa's corn crop is rated 77% good to excellent. Last week's nice weather also made it a good time for farmers to catch up on hay making. They harvested more than one-quarter of the second cutting of the state's 2014 alfalfa hay crop during the 7-day stretch.

Iowa's farmers report they had 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork last week, surpassing a previous season high set near the end of May of 5.3 days. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey adds some caution about hotter conditions expected this week. "The much warmer weather this week will increase the stress on both crops and livestock," he says. "Farmers will be monitoring livestock closely during the extremely hot and humid weather forecast for the first part of this week."

Hot weather this week will stress crops and livestock
The beautiful weather last week was great for farmers needing to make hay. The complete weekly Iowa Crop & Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's website or on USDA's site. The report summary follows here:

CROP REPORT: Over one-quarter of the second cutting of alfalfa hay was harvested during the week ending July 20, 2014, according to USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork, surpassing the previous season high of 5.3 days suitable in late May. In addition to cutting hay, activities this past week included fungicide and herbicide application.

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A lack of rainfall across most of the state this past week resulted in a decline in soil moisture levels. Topsoil moisture levels rated zero percent very short, 7% short, 82% adequate, and 11% surplus as of July 20. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 7% short, 82% adequate and 10% surplus.

Subsoil across Iowa is rated 82% adequate, 10% surplus
In Iowa 59% of the corn acreage was silking on July 20, which is 11 days ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of the 5-year average. And 77% percent of the corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition. Blooming was evident in 67% of the soybean acreage, more than double the percent last year at this time. Across Iowa 19% of the soybean crop is setting pods, well ahead of last year's 2%. And 74% of the soybean crop is rated in good to excellent condition, virtually unchanged from the previous week.

With 83% of the oat acreage having turned color, Iowa's 2014 oat harvest has reached 21% complete. That's 2 percentage points ahead of last year but 17 percentage points behind normal. The survey shows 73% of the oat acreage is in good to excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week.

With the first cutting of alfalfa hay nearly complete, the second cutting of alfalfa is now 54% done, two days ahead of last year but 6 days behind normal. Looking at all hay, 68% is rated in good to excellent condition. Pasture rates 74% good to excellent. Overall stress on livestock was minimal last week, but pink-eye was reported in some cattle due to the wet conditions we've had during recent weeks.

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending July 20, 2014
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

It was an unseasonably cool and dry week across Iowa. Temperatures were below normal every day of the reporting week with the coolest weather from Monday (July 14) into Thursday (July 17).

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The month vies with 2009 for the coolest start to July in the past 120 years. Temperature extremes varied from a Sunday (July 13) afternoon high of 90 degrees at Sidney to Wednesday (July 16) morning lows of 44 degrees at Stanley (Buchanan Co.) and Little Sioux (Harrison Co.).

Temps for the week averaged 7.8 degrees below normal
Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 7.8 degrees below normal. There were just a few isolated showers on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with dry weather statewide the remainder of the week.

The greatest reported rainfall was 0.42 inches near Calamus on Clinton County while about one-half of the state saw no rain at all. The statewide average precipitation was 0.03 inches while normal for the week is 1.02 inches. This was Iowa's driest reporting week in 34 weeks (late November 2013).

TAGS: USDA
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