Pella — 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.
“Hot temperatures and lack of moisture continues to stress corn and soybeans as well as pastures and hay ground,” Northey said. “Only 35 percent of the corn crop and 33 percent of soybeans are classified as good or excellent, which is down significantly from the August 5 report when 51 percent of corn and 52 percent of soybeans were in those categories.”
Iowa experienced warmer and drier than normal weather during the week ending September 8, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Some rain fell in the western part of the State, but most areas continued to be dry. Hot temperatures pushed crops to mature, but crop conditions are showing stress from the heat and lack of precipitation. Statewide there were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 52 percent very short, 33 percent short, 15 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 41 percent very short, 40 percent short, 19 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Topsoil moisture was considered very short on over 50 percent of the acreage in the southern two-thirds of Iowa.
With nearly all the corn crop in or past the milk stage, 86 percent of the crop reached the dough stage, trailing the normal 93 percent. Fifty-four percent of the crop has reached the dent stage, 24 percentage points behind normal. Only 5 percent of corn was mature, just over two weeks behind normal. Corn condition declined slightly and rated 9 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 31 percent good and 4 percent excellent. With almost the entire soybean crop setting pods, 12 percent has begun turning color. Some of the earliest planted soybeans have begun to drop leaves. Soybean condition also declined and was rated 10 percent very poor, 20 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 30 percent good and 3 percent excellent.
The harvest of third cutting alfalfa was 84 percent complete, slightly ahead of the normal 82 percent, but still behind last year’s 100 percent. Pasture condition continued to deteriorate, and was rated 30 percent very poor, 32 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 8 percent good and 1 percent excellent.