Iowa Crops Lagging In Development, Will Need Timely Rains

Iowa Crops Lagging In Development, Will Need Timely Rains

Weekly USDA survey shows state's corn crop is now 35% tasseled, well behind the normal of 70%.

The weekly Crops & Weather report released July 22 shows Iowa's corn and soybean crops are continuing to lag behind normal in development. And much of the state has been lacking in rainfall the past month or so. Thus, crops are getting thirsty, as soil moisture supplies have declined, according to the weekly survey conducted by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service in Des Moines.

TIMELY RAINS NEEDED: Iowa had its wettest spring on record this year and some people feared the 2013 growing season may be a repeat of the flood year of 1993. However, since about June 15 the state has had a reversal in weather—from wet and cool to hot and dry. That never happened in 1993. With a shallow rooted crop, Iowa will need timely rains the rest of this summer to produce good yields.

"The warm dry weather this past week has allowed crops to continue to develop, but many areas of the state are now starting to need some rain," notes Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. "Some areas of Iowa did receive some precipitation in the past few days and there are additional chances for more rain later this week. Hopefully crops will continue to receive timely rains throughout the 2013 growing season."

The complete weekly report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship website or on USDA's site. The report summary follows here:

Last week was Iowa's third week in a row of below normal rainfall

CROP REPORT: Crops were beginning to need rain as dry weather continued the week ending July 21, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. It was the third week in a row with below average precipitation, which has caused soil moisture conditions to decline, and has led to crops needing additional moisture. Statewide there was an average of 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~

Statewide, 43% of topsoil was in the adequate and surplus categories, a decline of 22 percentage points from the previous week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 14% very short, 43% short, 42% adequate and 1% surplus. A total of 66% of subsoil was in the adequate and surplus categories, down 18 percentage points from last week. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4% very short, 30% short, 63% adequate and 3% surplus.

Iowa corn crop is 35% tasseled, well behind the 95% at this time a year ago

As of July 21 the survey showed 35% of the Iowa corn crop was tasseled, well behind last year's 95% and the 5-year average of 70%. And 18% of the corn crop was silking, lagging behind last year's 87% and the normal 54%. Overall, corn development is running about 10 days behind normal. Corn condition is rated 4% very poor, 10% poor, 31% fair, 43% good and 12% excellent.

Looking at soybeans in Iowa, 36% of the crop was blooming as of July 21, which is behind last year's 83% and the 5-year average of 70%. Scattered reports of soybeans setting pods were received. Soybean condition is rated 3% very poor, 8% poor, 33% fair, 43% good and 13% excellent. Also, 76% of the state's oat crop has turned color, trailing the 5-year average of 90%. Iowa's oat crop is now 21% harvested, behind both last year's 88% and the normal 39%. Oat condition is rated zero percent very poor, 5% poor, 31% fair, 54% good and 10% excellent.

The 2nd cutting of alfalfa was 52% complete as of July 21, behind the 5-year average of 66%. Hay condition was rated at 1% very poor, 7% poor, 30% fair, 50% good and 12% excellent. Pasture condition continued to deteriorate and was rated 3% very poor, 11% poor, 35% fair, 41% good and 10% excellent.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—as of week ending July 21, 2013

By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

It was a very warm and dry week last week across Iowa. The hottest weather was from Tuesday (July 16) through Friday (July 19) with temperatures dropping to near normal over the weekend (July 20-21). Daytime highs were in the 80's on Sunday (July 14), near 90 on Monday (July 15) and in the low to mid 90's in most areas from Tuesday (July 16) through Thursday (July 18). A cool front kept highs in the mid 80's over the northwest on Friday but the south and east warmed into the mid to upper 90's. Highs over the weekend were back in the 80's.

Temperature extremes for the week ranged from a Friday afternoon high of 98 degrees at Keokuk to Saturday morning lows of 53 degrees at Battle Creek and Sheldon. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 4.8 degrees above normal as Iowa experienced its hottest week since late July 2012.

Statewide average rainfall was only 0.06 inches, way below normal for the week, as normal is around 1 inch

There were a few isolated showers over far northwest Iowa on Sunday (July 14) morning and over the southeast on Monday (July 15) morning. A few isolated showers also popped up over north central and south central areas on Wednesday (July 17) while Tuesday and Thursday were dry statewide. Friday (July 18) brought some morning showers over the northern one-third of the state while there were a few isolated thunderstorms over the south one-half Friday afternoon. Light rain fell over far northwest Iowa on Saturday (July 20) morning with some isolated thunderstorms over the far northeast on Saturday afternoon. Some locally heavy rain fell over south central Iowa on Sunday (July 21) but will be included in next week's report. Weekly rain totals varied from none over much of the state to a maximum reported total of 0.86 inches south of Elkader. The statewide average precipitation was only 0.06 inches while normal for the week is 1.01 inches.

TAGS: Soybean
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