Iowa's crop progress continues, as 83% of the state's corn and 79% of soybeans are rated in good-to-excellent condition so far in 2015. That's according to USDA's latest weekly crops and weather survey, based on conditions as of August 2.
"Crops in Iowa continue to mature and the outlook remains generally good with a majority of the corn and soybeans in good-to-excellent condition. Some areas of the state continue to be challenged by the weather while others face weed, insect or disease issues," notes Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.
Statewide average rainfall has been above normal for seven of the past eight weeks. But rainfall amounts have been highly variable over the state during this eight-week period with very heavy rains over much of the southern one-third of Iowa while parts of the northern one-third have been drier than usual.
U.S. corn crop condition is unchanged at 70% good to excellent
Looking at the national picture, the U.S. corn crop is rated at 70% good to excellent as of August 2, with the excellent rating gaining one point and the good rating slipping one point from the week before. Last week, minor improvements in Indiana and Nebraska were offset by small declines in a number of states including Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin. Soybeans nationally have improved to 63% good to excellent from 62% the prior week. Minor gains took place last week in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, among others.
The complete weekly Iowa Crops & Weather report is also 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: Although heavy rains were reported in some areas of the state, drier- than-normal conditions prevailed in other areas. Overall, Iowa farmers had 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending August 2, 2015, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included cutting hay and fungicide and insecticide applications.
Humidity, heat have aided corn and bean crop development
Humidity and heat aided crop development, but precipitation made harvesting hay and oats difficult in some areas. There were reports of weed and insect problems in soybeans and fungus in cornfields.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 0% very short, 6% short, 80% adequate and 14% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0% very short, 6% short, 81% adequate and 13% surplus. South-central Iowa saw the largest increase in topsoil moisture levels, with 60% surplus, up from 51% the prior week.
Iowa corn crop is now 30% in dough stage or beyond
Also as of August 2 for Iowa, 93% of the corn crop had reached the silking stage or beyond, with 30% reaching the dough stage or beyond. Corn condition rated 83% good to excellent. Soybeans blooming or beyond reached 87%, two days behind 2014. And 57% of the soybeans were setting pods. Soybean condition rated 79% good to excellent as of August 2, up 3 percentage points from the previous week. Looking at Iowa's oat crop, 78% of the oat crop for grain or seed has been harvested, five days ahead of last year, but slightly behind the five-year average.
The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 79%, three days behind last year, and one week behind the average, due to continued wet conditions. The third cutting of alfalfa hay is 13% complete, eight days behind average. Hay condition is rated at 69% good to excellent, while pasture condition rated 76% good to excellent. Livestock experienced normal summer heat stress this past week.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ended August 2, 2015
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
The past reporting week began with very warm and humid weather prevailing through Tuesday (July 28). Actual temperatures peaked at 95 degrees F at Lamoni while the heat index reached 109 degrees at Burlington on Tuesday. A wide band of thunderstorms brought rain from northwest, through central, into south-central Iowa on Monday (July 27). Another area of thunderstorms moved through all but far northwest Iowa between early Tuesday (July 28) morning and early Wednesday (July 29) morning.
Temperatures for the week averaged 1.5 degrees above normal
Torrential rains fell with this second round of storms on Tuesday night across parts of south-central Iowa. Cooler and mostly dry weather prevailed on Wednesday and Thursday with temperatures falling as low as 52 degrees at Sheldon on Thursday (July 30) morning. Warmer and more humid weather returned for the weekend with scattered thunderstorms over the southern one-half of the state. Sunday (Aug. 2) was the warmest day of the weekend with Donnellson reaching 94 degrees. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 1.5 degrees above normal.
Statewide average rainfall is above normal for 7 of past 8 weeks
Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.09 inches at Oakland and 0.10 inches at Bellevue to 7.46 inches near Spring Hill in Warren County. The statewide average precipitation was 1.63 inches while normal for the week is 0.94 inches. The statewide average precipitation has been above normal for seven of the past eight weeks. However, precipitation amounts have been highly variable over the state during this eight-week period with very heavy rains over much of the southern one-third of Iowa while portions of the northern one-third have been drier than usual.
Some farm buildings were destroyed and two silos were crushed as a tornado wound its way through Adams County in southwest Iowa Sunday night, August 2.The National Weather Service says the tornado was an EF-1, packing winds of at least 100 miles per hour. The twister started around 6:30 p.m. and ended around 6:50 p.m. The tornado's storm path was about 4.2 miles, and was about 350 yards wide, according to the NWS survey. No one was injured in the storms and no other major damage was reported.