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Farmers welcome dryer weather

Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 11:28 a.m. CST

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented Monday on the weekly Iowa crop progress and condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. 

“The dryer weather last week was very welcome as it allowed farmers to start getting back in the fields to get needed work done,” Northey said.  “Much of the crop remains in good to excellent condition even as some of the damage from the extremely wet weather and strong storms earlier in the growing season was becoming even more apparent.”  

The report summary follows here:

Iowa welcomed drier conditions which allowed farmers to get back in the fields during the week ending July 13, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork, the first time since mid-June that farmers have had over 3.0 days suitable across the whole State. Activities for the week include herbicide application, replanting drowned out crops, and cutting hay. 

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 25 percent surplus. Central Iowa was the wettest, with well over one-third of the topsoil in surplus condition. 

Twenty-six percent of the corn acreage was silking, 25 percentage points ahead of last year and 1 percentage point ahead of the five-year average. Seventy-six percent of the corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week.

Forty-five percent of the soybean acreage was blooming, 11 days ahead of the previous year and slightly ahead of normal. Six percent of the soybean crop was setting pods, 11 days ahead of last year and one day ahead of normal. Seventy-three percent of the soybean crop was rated in good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week.

Ninety-seven percent of the oat crop has headed, equal to the previous year but 1 percentage point behind the five-year average. Sixty percent of the oat acreage has turned color, 18 percentage points ahead of the previous year but 10 points behind average. Oat harvest was 8 percent complete 5 percentage points ahead of last year but 11 points behind the normal pace.

Pasture condition rated 75 percent good to excellent. High insect counts caused stress to livestock across the State.