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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.

“Crop conditions remain very good with 78 percent of the corn crop and 74 percent of soybeans remaining in good to excellent condition with maturity at or ahead of the five-year average. The moderate temperatures forecast for this week will also help reduce stress on livestock,” 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

Harvest advanced 20 percentage points or more in Iowa for alfalfa hay and oats for grain during the week ending July 27, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork. The majority of the State received little precipitation and left some farmers wishing for more rain. Activities for the week included aerial fungicide and herbicide application and cutting all types of hay.

Declining from last week, topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 12 percent short, 81 percent adequate, and 6 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 9 percent short, 84 percent adequate, and 6 percent surplus.

Eighty-five percent of the corn acreage was at or beyond the silking stage, just over 2 weeks ahead of the previous year and almost 1 week ahead of the five-year average. Corn in the dough stage reached 14 percent, 7 points ahead of normal. Seventy-eight percent of the corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition. Soybean progress advanced to 82 percent blooming or beyond, 10 days ahead of last year and just ahead of average. Forty-one percent of the soybean crop was setting pods, well ahead of last year’s 12 percent. Seventy-four percent of the soybean crop was rated in good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week. With 94 percent of the oat acreage having turned color, oat harvest for grain was 44 percent complete, 1 percentage point ahead of last year but 15 percentage points behind normal. Seventy-four percent of the oat acreage was reported in good to excellent condition.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay was 74 percent complete, 2 percentage points ahead of the previous year but 5 points behind the five-year average. Some farmers started cutting their third crop of alfalfa hay during the week. Sixty-eight percent of all hay was rated in good to excellent condition. Pasture condition decreased to 71 percent good to excellent. Stress on livestock was reported as minimal.

Iowa Preliminary Weather Summary

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

The past week brought a variety of weather to Iowa. Very warm and humid conditions prevailed on Monday (21st) and Tuesday (22nd) and again over southwestern Iowa on Friday (25th) and Saturday (26th). On Monday (21st) actual temperatures reached as high as 98 degrees at Sidney while very high humidity pushed the heat index as high as 117 degrees at Audubon. A cooler air mass allowed temperatures to fall to 51 degrees at Mason City and Elkader on Thursday (24th) morning. Much warmer air quickly returned to southwest Iowa on Friday (25th) with Sidney reporting the first triple digit heat of the year in Iowa with a 102 degree maximum while the heat index soared to 117 at Shenandoah. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from two to four degrees below normal over far southeast Iowa to about two degrees above normal in the southwest. The statewide average temperature was 0.4 degrees below normal. July as a whole will likely go into the record books among the ten coolest July’s of record. Parts of eastern and northern Iowa have yet to reach 90 degrees this year. Meanwhile, rain fell across much of the southeast one-third of Iowa on Tuesday with Fairfield Airport reporting the most rain with 1.12 inches. Rain fell over all but southwestern Iowa on Thursday into Friday with a maximum total of 3.47 inches being reported near Rowan in Wright County. No rain fell during the week over much of southwest and south central Iowa while Fairfield Airport reported the most rain with 4.28 inches. The statewide average precipitation was 0.59 inches while normal for the week is 0.98 inches.

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