Rain Gives Relief to Parched Iowa Crops

Showers in Iowa the past few days have brought some much-needed relief to Iowa corn and soybeans.

Rain this past weekend brought some relief to farmers, especially those in Northwest Iowa. Rain on Monday August 6 and also on Tuesday August 7, particularly in the western and southern parts of the state, was also beneficial to Iowa's 2007 crop prospects.

The condition of Iowa's corn crop as of August 6 rates about 61% good or excellent, approximately the same as the previous week. Soybean condition as of August 6 rates 65% good or excellent, also about the same as a week earlier.

Here's the summary of Iowa's weekly weather and crop conditions report issued August 6 by Iowa Ag Statistics Service.

Aphids swarming Iowa soybean fields

Heat and humidity this past week brought more stress to crops that already lacked moisture, says Harry Hillaker, state climatologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture. Then weekend showers came on August 4 and 5 and brought some much needed relief to crops in Iowa. Insecticide spraying increased in soybeans this past week due to large populations of aphids in soybean fields across the state.

As of August 6, topsoil moisture across Iowa rated 18% very short, 25% short, 54% adequate and 3% surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 15% very short, 27% short, 56% adequate and 2% surplus.

Nearly 75% of Iowa corn crop in milk stage

The amount of corn acreage that is silked statewide is now at 96%, which is 2% behind last year, but 1 day ahead of normal. About 71% of Iowa's corn crop is in the milk stage, 2 days ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn in dough stage is at 28%, which is 2% ahead of last year and 5% ahead of the 5-year average. Iowa's corn condition as of August 6 is rated at 2% very poor, 10% poor, 27% fair, 44% good and 17% excellent.

The percentage of Iowa's soybeans that are now blooming statewide, at 97%, is 1% ahead of both last year and the 5-year average. About 82% of Iowa's soybeans are now setting pods, 1% ahead of last year and 7% ahead of the 5-year average. Soybean condition as of August 6 is 2% very poor, 7% poor, 26% fair, 49% good and 16% excellent.

Oats acres harvested for grain in Iowa are now at 94% complete for 2007, 1% ahead of both last year and the 5-year average.

The Aug. 6 report shows that 97% of the second cutting of alfalfa hay is complete in Iowa, which is behind last year's 99%, but 1% ahead of the 5-year average. The third cutting of alfalfa is now 23% complete, behind last year's 30%, but 4% ahead of the 5-year average. All hay condition is 12% very poor, 16% poor, 32% fair, 35% good and 5% excellent.

Pasture condition as of August 6 rates 14% very poor, 23% poor, 33% fair, 27% good and 3% excellent. Some livestock are being fed hay to supplement poor pasture. Insect populations continue to pester livestock.

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