Iowa's 2015 corn, soybean crops off to great start

Iowa's 2015 corn, soybean crops off to great start

Latest weekly survey rates Iowa corn crop 82% good to excellent, soybeans are 80%.

Iowa's corn and soybean crops are off to a great start this year. USDA's weekly survey as of June 7 rates the state's 2015 corn crop at 82% good to excellent. And the state's soybean crop is 80% good to excellent.

Iowa's corn crop is now planted, and 96% of the corn is emerged, 4 days ahead of the 5-year average for emergence. Iowa's soybean crop is 88% planted as of June 7, which is 9 days behind 2014 and 1 day behind the 5-year average.

However, the survey also shows a couple of areas of Iowa—southwest and south central—are lagging behind normal, as wet weather in those regions has kept farmers out of fields and prevented them from finishing planting soybeans.

LOOKING GOOD: Warmer temperatures and plenty of sunshine last week allowed Iowa farmers to continue planting soybeans, get herbicide applied and sidedress nitrogen. A third of the first-cutting alfalfa hay was harvested.

Southwest, south central Iowa continue to lag in planting
"Unfortunately, southwest and south central Iowa continue to battle wet conditions that have slowed planting progress there, and left those farmers significantly behind the rest of the state," notes Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey. "Hopefully, warm temperatures and dry weather will allow farmers to get back in the fields to finish planting if need be and do other needed fieldwork such as spraying and sidedressing fertilizer."

For the U.S. corn crop as of June 7, the USDA survey rates it 74% good to excellent, unchanged from the previous week. The U.S. soybean crop—the 64% of it that was emerged as of June 7—is rated 69% good to excellent. Soybean planting advanced to 79% complete, compared to 86% a year ago and 81% for the 5-year average. Emergence is behind last year's 68% but ahead of the 63% average.

Warmer temperatures, sunshine allow fieldwork to progress
The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress & Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's website www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:

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CROP REPORT:  Warmer temperatures and plenty of sunshine improved field conditions in Iowa during the week ending June 7, 2015, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Farmers were able to continue planting, while finally getting into previously wet fields to apply herbicide and sidedress nitrogen.

Statewide there were 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork, allowing farmers to harvest almost a third of the first cutting of alfalfa hay. Reports out of western Iowa are that grain movement is fairly strong and many farmers are hauling out their old crop.

Subsoil moisture reserves for 2015 are 95% adequate to surplus
Topsoil moisture levels are rated zero percent very short, 3% short, 78% adequate and 19% surplus for the state of Iowa as of June 7. Subsoil moisture levels rate zero percent very short, 5% short, 81% adequate and 14% surplus. South central Iowa has the highest topsoil moisture level at 100% rated adequate to surplus. North central Iowa reported the highest subsoil moisture levels, rated at 99% adequate to surplus.

Also as of June 7 in Iowa, 96% of the corn crop has emerged, 4 days ahead of the 5-year average. And 82% of the corn crop is rated good to excellent. Soybean planting reached 88% complete, 9 days behind 2014, and 1 day behind average. Southwest and south central Iowa continued to lag behind in the planting of their expected soybean acreage with only 51% and 65% of their soybean crop in the ground, respectively.

First soybean rating of 2015 puts crop 80% good to excellent
Iowa soybean emergence reached 71%, 4 days behind last year. The first soybean condition rating of the season came in at zero percent very poor, 2% poor, 18% fair, 67% good and 13% excellent. Looking at Iowa's oat crop, 24% of the oat acreage was at or beyond the heading stage this week, slightly ahead of last year, but 3 days behind average. Oat condition remained 81% good to excellent.

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Iowa's first cutting of alfalfa hay went from a week behind normal to even with the 5-year average this week and now stands at 49% complete. Hay conditions are rated 81% good to excellent. Pasture condition has improved to 79% good to excellent. Livestock experienced little stress last week in Iowa.

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending June 7, 2015
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

The reporting week began with dry and unseasonably cool weather with overnight low temperatures mostly in the forties and lower fifties on Monday (June 1) and Tuesday (June 2). Heat and humidity gradually increased over the remainder of the week. Showers and thunderstorms were scattered over the west two-thirds of the state on Wednesday (June 3) with heaviest rains over the far southwest with a few amounts over an inch. Thursday (June 4), Friday (June 5) and Saturday (June 6) were dry in most areas although there were a few very isolated thunderstorms, particularly near Chariton on Friday night.

Weekly rainfall totals varied widely across Iowa last week
Nearly all of the week's rain fell Saturday night into Sunday (June 7) morning with just a few south central and southwest locations missing the weekend rains. One to two inches of rain fell with the heaviest thunderstorms across central and northern Iowa with these weekend rains, along with many high wind reports in west central into central Iowa. Thunderstorms also developed Sunday (June 7) afternoon over parts of far southern Iowa with localized heavy rain and high winds. However, these last storms occurred too late to be reflected in this week's statistics.

Temperature extremes ranged from a Monday (June 1) morning low of 36 degrees at Elkader to a Thursday afternoon high of 88 degrees at Vinton. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from one degree below normal in the extreme southeast to four degrees above normal in the far northwest with a statewide average of 1.6 degrees above normal. Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.08 inches at Fort Madison (however heavy rains fell just after the reporting period at Fort Madison) to 2.56 inches near Harcourt in Webster County. The statewide average precipitation was 0.72 inches while normal for the week is 1.17 inches.

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