Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
"Although we are concerned about the current conditions near the Missouri River, the more favorable weather we've seen this week has shown to be productive. My hope is that conditions will allow farmers to finish their planting and continue weed control, " Northey said.
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia . The report follows here:
WARMER WEATHER PROMOTES CROP GROWTH
Warmer weather and sunshine prompted substantial crop growth. Relief from windy conditions allowed spraying although many farmers are still waiting for an opportunity to spray. Farmers who operate near the Missouri River are keeping watchful eyes on the river level as some move grain and machinery to higher ground in preparation for the worst.
There were 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Southeast Iowa had only 1.60 days suitable while northeast Iowa had 5.4 days suitable. Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 5 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 15 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 18 percent surplus.
Nearly all of Iowa's corn acreage has been planted and 96 percent has emerged. Corn condition is reported at 0 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 17 percent fair, 60 percent good, and 21 percent excellent. Soybean planting is 94 percent complete, equal to last year and just ahead of the normal pace of 93 percent. South central Iowa soybean planting progress remains behind the rest of the State with just 76 percent planted. Seventy-eight percent of the State's soybean crop has emerged, marginally behind last year's 79 percent but ahead of the five-year average of 74 percent. The year's first estimate of soybean condition in Iowa shows 79 percent rated good to excellent. Nine percent of the oat crop has headed compared with 26 percent in 2010 and the average 15 percent. Oat condition remained relatively steady with 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 64 percent good, and 14 percent excellent. First cutting alfalfa hay harvest, at 33 percent complete, is well behind last year's 60 percent but gaining on the normal 39 percent. The condition of the hay crop is reported at 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 55 percent good, and 13 percent excellent.
Pasture and range condition was 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 20 percent excellent. The warmer weather caused little if any stress to livestock.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
by Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Summerlike weather finally made a prolonged appearance in Iowa this past week. Temperatures were well above normal except on Sunday (29th) and Wednesday (1st). Friday (3rd) was the hottest day with high temperatures in the mid 90s common over central and north central sections. Temperature extremes for the week ranged from a Wednesday morning low of 44 degrees at Sibley to a Friday afternoon high of 98 degrees at Clarion. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 5.6 degrees above normal with soil temperatures as of Sunday (5th) averaging in the upper 60s southeast to the low to mid 70s west. Thunderstorms brought rain to most of Iowa Monday night and Wednesday night with thunderstorms persisting across southeastern Iowa into Thursday afternoon. Finally, there were a few isolated thunderstorms on Sunday (5th). There were scattered reports of large hail and high winds with each period of storms during the week. The week's much warmer weather was often accompanied by strong winds, thus leaving top soil very dry in many areas. Weekly rain totals were on the light side over most of the state with the exception of the southeast one-third of Iowa. Rain totals varied from only 0.03 inch at Britt, Lake Mills and Northwood to 4.07 inches at Burlington and 4.79 inches at Keosauqua. The statewide average precipitation was 0.69 inches or about two-thirds of the weekly normal of 1.06 inches.