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Northey comments on Iowa Crops and Weather Report

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey this week commented on the Iowa crop progress and condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.

“The warm temperatures and needed precipitation last week helped both corn and bean crops. The crop remains in very good condition overall, with 75 percent of corn and 73 percent of beans in good to excellent condition,” 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 summary follows here:

Crop Report

Much-needed precipitation limited fieldwork to 4.2 days suitable across Iowa during the week ending August 24, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Above normal temperatures during the week aided crop development. Activities for the week included spraying for insects, baling hay, and hauling grain.

Topsoil moisture levels improved and rated 4 percent very short, 19 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 21 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.

Eighty-eight percent of Iowa’s corn crop was in the dough stage or beyond, 17 days ahead of last year and 8 days ahead of the five-year average. Corn crop in the dent stage reached 33 percent, 25 percentage points above the previous year but 9 points below normal. Three-quarters of the corn acreage was reported in good to excellent condition. Ninety-four percent of the soybean crop was setting pods or beyond, 13 percentage points above last year and 1 point above average. With a few farmers reporting soybean leaves starting to turn color, 73 percent of the soybean acreage was in good to excellent condition. Oat harvest for grain was nearing completion, slightly behind the previous year and normal.

With the second cutting of alfalfa hay nearing completion, the third cutting of alfalfa hay was 46 percent complete, 11 percentage points below last year and 18 points below the five-year average. Sixty-four percent of all hay was rated in good to excellent condition. Pasture condition rated 56 percent good to excellent. Stress on livestock increased this week due to heat and flies.

Iowa Preliminary Weather Summary

By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Heat, humidity and rainfall all returned in abundance to Iowa this past reporting week. Temperatures were above normal throughout the week with the exception of a brief cool-down over the northeast one-half of the state on Wednesday (20th). This was among the warmer weeks of the year with readings averaging from 1 to 2 degrees above normal over the far southeast to 6 degrees above normal over the northwest. The statewide average temperature was 4.0 degrees above normal. Temperature extremes varied from a Wednesday morning low of 56 degrees at Stanley (Buchanan Co.) to afternoon highs of 92 degrees at Sioux City on Thursday and Stanley on Friday. The week began dry on Sunday (17th). However, heavy rain fell over much of Worth and Mitchell counties early Monday (18th) morning with lighter rains over the northeast one-third of the state. On Tuesday (19th) rain was confined to extreme southeast Iowa. Wednesday brought rain over a large area from west central to southeast Iowa. Thursday (21st) saw rain fall over much of the northeast two-thirds of the state. Friday (22nd) brought scattered thunderstorms to the southern two-thirds of Iowa. Finally, Saturday (23rd) brought rain statewide with greatest amounts over south central Iowa. Weekly rain totals varied from 0.33 inches at Persia (Harrison Co.) and 0.35 inches at Blockton (Taylor Co.) to 7.00 inches at Greenfield and 5.97 inches at Saint Ansgar (Mitchell Co.). The statewide average rainfall was 1.85 inches or double the weekly normal of 0.93 inches. This was Iowa’s wettest week in seven weeks.

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