Iowa's 2015 corn crop is rated 83% good to excellent. Soybeans are 80% good to excellent, according to the latest weekly USDA crop conditions survey, as of June 21. Wet weather in southwest and south-central Iowa is keeping farmers from finishing soybean planting.
"Statewide, but especially in southern Iowa, wet weather continues to limit the ability of farmers to get in the field to finish planting, spray weeds, sidedress fertilizer and make hay," says Greg Thessen, director of the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service in Des Moines. "Generally, Iowa's crops remain in good condition, but do need some dry weather and warm temperatures to help them continue to mature."
In many fields, corn and bean stands are somewhat uneven
In fields that are either better drained or have received less rain, corn and soybeans are looking good, says Mark Johnson, ISU Extension field agronomist in central Iowa. "In many of the other fields, stands are still somewhat uneven and in some cases doing poorly. Given the weather forecast for rain most days this week, it may be a while before those fields start to look good," he adds.
In soybean fields that have had group 14 herbicides (PPO inhibitors, such as Flexstar, Reflex, Cobra) applied, the beans are looking brown. "But this is better than fields that are weedy," says Johnson. "The larger the beans were when they were sprayed, the more possibility of some yield loss. However, this is better than leaving waterhemp living in the field to compete with the crop and go to seed."
Time to check cornfields for rootworm damage and N loss
Corn has already closed the rows in earlier planted fields, especially in the eastern half of central Iowa. "It's time to begin digging roots to check for corn rootworm larvae feeding," says Johnson. "Be sure to check your corn-on-corn acres and any fields with past Bt corn hybrid performance issues. Also, ISU entomologist Aaron Gassmann's website has an interactive node-injury scale to assist you with determination of the extent of corn rootworm damage in your field."
Another thing to check on: Is your corn running out of nitrogen? Recent ISU research on N management shows when rainfall exceeds 16 inches in the April 1 to June 30 timeframe, additional N applications can benefit corn yields about 75% of the time, says Johnson. Also, he reminds farmers to check for herbicide damage on non-Roundup Ready corn. More of these non-traited hybrids were sold in 2015, and this corn is sensitive to drifted glyphosate. "Always ask before spraying, so you can take extra precautions if corn in a nearby field isn't tolerant to that herbicide," he says.
Nation's corn crop is 71% good to excellent, soybeans are 65%
The U.S. corn crop was rated 71% good to excellent as of June 21, down two points from the prior week, according to the USDA survey. The nation's soybean crop slipped two points to 65% good to excellent on June 21. Nationwide, soybeans were 90% planted, behind the 95% of last year at this time and the 95% five-year average. Emergence is 84%, compared with 89% a year ago and the 87% average.
The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress & Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship website IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
CROP REPORT: Wet conditions continued to slow field activities throughout much of Iowa during the week ending June 21, 2015, according to USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. Statewide there were 3.5 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included cutting hay, chemical application and nitrogen side dressing. Excessive moisture is preventing some farmers from controlling weeds and applying nitrogen. Wet fields in southwest and south-central Iowa continued to prevent farmers from finishing soybean planting.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 0% very short, 2% short, 71% adequate and 27% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0% very short, 3% short, 76% adequate and 21% surplus. South-central Iowa had the highest topsoil moisture level with 100% rated adequate to surplus. North-central and south-central Iowa rated the highest in subsoil moisture levels at 99% rated adequate to surplus.
Iowa's corn crop rates 83% good to excellent, soybeans 80%
As of June 21, Iowa's corn crop was rated 83% good to excellent. Soybean planting reached 95% complete, 19 days behind 2014, and four days behind the five-year average. Southwest and south-central Iowa have been able to plant less than 80% of their expected soybean acreage due to continued saturated soil conditions. Soybean emergence reached 90% statewide, slightly behind normal. Soybean condition rated 80% good to excellent this week. Oats headed reached 75%, three days ahead of last year, and slightly ahead of average. Oat condition increased to 83% good to excellent.
Iowa's first cutting of alfalfa hay reached 77% complete this week. The second cutting of alfalfa has begun in many areas. Hay conditions rated 76% good to excellent. Pasture condition rated 82% good to excellent. Livestock conditions were described as good. Muddy cattle lots are still reported throughout Iowa.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—For week ended June 21, 2015
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
The past reporting week brought temperatures that were mostly slightly below normal until the weekend when heat and humidity returned. Thursday (June 18) was the most pleasant day with high temperatures in the 70s and relatively low humidity. Very warm and humid weather prevailed over southern Iowa on Saturday (June 20) with the temperature reaching 97 degrees at Lamoni. Overnight lows dipped as low as 50 degrees at Mapleton on Tuesday (June 16) morning and at Sheldon and Spencer on Friday (June 19) morning. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 0.6 degrees below normal although much of southwest and south-central Iowa averaged a little warmer than normal.
Statewide average rainfall was 1.40 inches; normal is 1.17 inches
The week's heaviest rain fell at the beginning of the period from Sunday (June 14) afternoon into Monday (June 15) afternoon with thunderstorms bringing rain statewide with greatest amounts falling across southern Iowa. Light rain fell across the eastern one-third of Iowa on Wednesday (June 17). Thunderstorms brought locally heavy rain across parts of central and eastern Iowa on Saturday (June 20). Large hail and high winds were reported from 16 east, central and southeast counties with the Saturday storms. Additional thunderstorms developed late Sunday and Sunday night (June 21) but occurred too late to be reflected in this week's crop conditions.
Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.04 inches at Battle Creek (Ida County) to 4.45 inches at Bellevue. The statewide average precipitation was 1.40 inches while normal for the week is 1.17 inches.