Fifty-three percent of Iowa's 2014 corn crop has now reached dent stage, according to the latest weekly USDA survey. That's eight days ahead of last year at this time, but four days behind normal. Soybean leaves turning color reached 8%, five points ahead of last year, but slightly behind average. The survey data was gathered August 31 by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service.
"The above average temperatures and frequent rains continued this past week. Although we could use a break from the rain in some parts of the state, the crop remains in very good condition with 76% of the corn and 73% of the beans in good to excellent condition," notes Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.
Overall corn and soybeans are in exceptional shape
Diseases in both corn and soybeans were reported in some fields across the state this past week but overall the crop is in great shape as it heads toward the homestretch. The complete weekly Crop & Weather report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship site or on USDA's site. The report summary follows here:
CROP REPORT: Frequent rainfall hindered fieldwork with only 2.3 days suitable across Iowa during the week ending August 31, 2014, according to USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. Above average temperatures aided crop development, and farmers are hopeful these temperatures will continue. Wet conditions have slowed hay harvest. Diseases in both corn and soybeans were reported across the state.
Over half of Iowa's corn crop is now in dent stage
Recent rains have increased soil moisture. Topsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 9% short, 75% adequate and 15% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2% very short, 15% short, 76% adequate and 7% surplus. East central Iowa was the driest with one-quarter of its topsoil in very short to short condition.
Over 90% of Iowa's corn crop was in dough stage or beyond, 23 percentage points above of last year and 6 points above the 5-year average. Fifty-three percent of the corn crop had reached the dent stage, 8 days ahead of the previous year but 4 days behind normal. With corn beginning to mature, 76% of the corn acreage was reported in good to excellent condition.
In Iowa 8% of soybean crop has leaves turning color
The survey showed 96% of the Iowa soybean crop setting pods or beyond on August 31, one week ahead of last year but slightly behind average. Soybean leaves turning color reached 8%, 5 percentage points ahead of the previous year but 10 points behind the normal pace. Seventy-three percent of the soybean acreage was in good to excellent condition. Oat harvest for grain was virtually complete.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 53% complete, 22 percentage points below last year and 23 points below the 5-year average. In Iowa, 66% of all hay was rated in good to excellent condition. Pasture condition improved to 62% good to excellent. High humidity caused stress for some livestock. There were a few reports of calves being weaned.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending August 31, 2014
Provided by Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Showers and thunderstorms were nearly a daily occurrence across much of Iowa this past reporting week. Rain totals were above normal over all but small portions of far northwest and east central Iowa. Torrential rains of four inches or more were centered over Mills County on Wednesday (Aug. 27) morning and from Cass to Polk County on Thursday (Aug. 28) night.
The most widespread rains came on Thursday and Friday while Saturday (Aug. 30) was mostly dry statewide. Widespread moderate to heavy rain, along with numerous reports of high winds, also occurred on Sunday (Aug. 31) night but will be included in next week's report.
Rain occurred almost daily across much of Iowa this past week
Weekly rain totals varied from 0.34 inches at Lowden and 0.35 inches at Rock Rapids up to 7.55 inches at Persia in Harrison County (which had been the dry spot in the state the previous week). The statewide average rainfall was 2.18 inches, or more than double the weekly normal of 0.91 inches.
Warm and humid air dominated the state most of the week with the warmest air on Sunday (Aug. 24) and Monday (Aug. 25) when temperatures reached into the nineties in many areas. A brief break from the heat came on Wednesday (Aug. 27) when daytime highs were mostly in the seventies. Temperature extremes for the week varied from a Monday (Aug. 25) afternoon high of 95 degrees at Donnellson to a Tuesday (Aug. 26) morning low of 53 degrees at Sibley. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged near normal in far northwest Iowa to five degrees above normal across the southeast. Statewide average temperature was 3.1 degrees above normal. Burlington and Cedar Rapids reached 90 degrees for the first time this year on Sunday Aug. 24.