Storms that dumped 5 to 9 inches of rain on north central and northwest Iowa the past five days have caused flooding in fields, basements and blocked roads. “While the rains this past week have been helpful and were very much needed, there are areas in the northern part of the state that are now getting too much rain,” observes Harry Hillaker, state climatologist for the Iowa Department of Agriculture. “The rain has come down hard and fast in some areas and hasn’t had much opportunity to really soak into the soil. There is a lot of storm runoff and that is causing water levels in creeks and rivers to rise significantly.” Hopefully, some of the rain will soak in “We needed the rain to help corn and soybean crops finish the growing season, but we don’t need the rain to come down in buckets,” notes Hillaker. The weekly weather and crop survey released August 20 by Iowa Ag Statistics Service indicates that the rains received this past week should help corn to fill the ears and soybean pods to fill. Crop reporters in the government’s weekly survey observe that soybean aphid problems are subsiding. Aphids infested bean field pretty much statewide this summer. Many fields were sprayed once and some fields were sprayed twice to control this yield-robbing insect pest. Sudden death syndrome is being reported in soybeans in many areas of the state. Pastures are greening up with the recent rainfall. Haying and silage cutting have been halted by the rains of the past few days. Cooler temperatures associated with rains are helping livestock, though insects continue to be an issue. Farmers are preparing equipment and lining up their grain storage options, as they get ready for a big harvest of corn. 73% of Iowa corn crop in dough stage As of August 20, the weekly report shows that 73% of Iowa’s 2007 corn crop has reached dough stage. That’s 1% behind last year, but 9% ahead of the 5-year average. Corn in dent stage is at 39%, which is ahead of last year’s 34% and the 5-year average of 23%. Corn condition rated 2% very poor, 6% poor, 21% fair, 52% good and 19% excellent. Soybean condition statewide as of August 20 is rated 1% very poor, 4% poor, 19% fair, 55% good and 21% excellent. Third cutting of alfalfa is 43% complete, behind last year’s 62% and 14% behind the 5-year average. All hay condition is rated 4% very poor, 16% poor, 29% fair, 41% good and 10% excellent. Pasture condition is rated 5% very poor, 15% poor, 33% fair, 39% good and 8% excellent, according to this week’s survey.