Iowa's 2015 corn and soybean crops continue to move closer to harvest, as 10% of the state's corn has already reached maturity and 5% of the soybeans are dropping leaves. Some farmers are starting to chop corn for silage and some have begun harvesting seed cornfields. That's according to the latest weekly statewide survey, based on conditions as of Sept. 6, as the information is gathered by crop reporters and then analyzed and released by USDA's National Ag Statistics Service office in Des Moines.
Unfortunately, the strong storms that rolled through the state this past week and the week before caused some flooding damage and left crops underwater in some areas, notes Greg Thessen, who directs the weekly USDA/NASS survey.
Iowa's 2015 corn crop is 79% good to excellent, beans 76%
Iowa's corn crop is rated 79% good to excellent, which is two points lower than the week before, due mainly to storm damage. There were some reports of pressure from corn leaf diseases. Soybean condition is 76% good to excellent. Nationally, the U.S. corn crop is 68% good to excellent and the soybean crop is 63% good to excellent.
The complete weekly Iowa Crops & Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's website IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
CROP REPORT: Iowa farmers took advantage of the 4.9 days suitable for fieldwork to finish oat harvest, chop corn silage, and start seed corn harvest during the week ending September 6, 2015. However, scattered but heavy showers kept some fields too wet to work. That's according to USDA's weekly survey released September 8, a day later than usual due to the Labor Day holiday. Corn for grain continues to mature. There were reports of pressure on corn from leaf diseases in some fields.
Heavy rains in central Iowa created 36% surplus soil moisture
Topsoil moisture levels rated 0% very short, 6% short, 78% adequate and 16% surplus, unchanged from last week. Subsoil moisture rated 0% very short, 7% short, 78% adequate and 15% surplus. Heavier rains in central Iowa resulted in 36% surplus moisture.
Iowa's corn crop was 76% in dent stage or beyond as of Sept. 6 with 10% of the corn rated as mature. The Iowa corn crop is running three days ahead of last year, but nine days behind the five-year average. Corn condition is rated 79% good to excellent. And 97% of soybeans on Sept. 6 were setting pods or beyond, while 33% of soybeans were turning color, three days ahead of 2014, but one day behind normal. Statewide 5% of the soybeans had begun dropping leaves. Soybean condition is rated 76% good to excellent.
Iowa's third cutting of alfalfa hay is 76% complete, 12 days ahead of last year, but five days behind average. Pasture condition is rated 64% good to excellent. Hot days recently have resulted in heat stress for some livestock.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending September 6, 2015
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
It was an unseasonably warm and dry week across Iowa, for the seven-day period ending September 6. The reporting week began with temperatures slightly above normal on Sunday (Aug. 30) and Monday (Aug. 31) but was very warm and humid for the remainder of the week. Daytime highs were mostly in the mid-to-upper 80s across northern Iowa and in the low-to-mid-90s across the south. Temperature extremes varied from Sunday (Sept. 6) afternoon highs of 96 degrees F at Glenwood and Sidney to a Monday (Aug. 31) morning low of 55 degrees at Maquoketa.
Last week was warmest week of the year in Iowa in 2015
Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 10 degrees above normal, making this the warmest week of the year.
Most of the week's rain fell from southwest to north-central Iowa on Tuesday (Sept. 1) night into Wednesday (Sept. 2) morning with just a few southwest Iowa locations receiving over an inch of rain. Bedford reported the most rain with 1.44 inches while much of the northwest and southeast corners of the state recorded no measurable rain.
The statewide average precipitation was 0.16 inches while normal for the week is 0.84 inches. This was the driest week in 18 weeks (since late April and early May). Locally heavy rain fell Sunday (Sept. 6) evening and Sunday night, particularly across central and south-central Iowa, but fell too late to be reflected in this week's crop statistics.