Pella Chronicle

Crop News

September 17, 2013

NORTHEY COMMENTS ON IOWA CROPS

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.

“The cooler temperatures and rain showers that moved in this weekend were welcome relief after another week of hot and dry weather further stressed corn and soybeans,” Northey said.  “Harvest remains delayed because of the late planting and cooler weather for much of the growing season.”

CROP REPORT

Most of Iowa received some precipitation during the week ending September 15, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide rainfall was still below average for the week. Temperatures were again above normal during most of the week, but cooled during the weekend. There were scattered reports of corn silage being cut. Statewide there were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 51 percent very short, 34 percent short, 15 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 45 percent very short, 38 percent short, 17 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. South Central Iowa was the driest with 82 percent of topsoil moisture rated very short.

Ninety-four percent of the corn was at or beyond the dough stage. Seventy-seven percent of the crop was dented, 12 percentage points behind normal. Fifteen percent of corn was mature, well behind the normal 45 percent. A few operators reported harvesting their earliest planted corn. Corn condition remained unchanged at 9 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 31 percent good and 4 percent excellent. Forty-three percent of soybeans were turning color, 30 percentage points behind normal. Seven percent of the crop has begun to drop leaves, 10 days behind normal pace. Soybean condition was almost unchanged at 10 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 30 percent good and 3 percent excellent.

The harvest of third cutting alfalfa was nearing completion at 94 percent complete, ahead of the normal 88 percent. Pasture condition declined slightly and was rated 33 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 8 percent good and 1 percent excellent.

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    “The dry weather last week helped crops continue to dry down and allowed nearly half of the state’s soybeans to be harvested.  Unfortunately, fire does remain a risk as the dry weather persists, so farmers should continue to take extra care while working in their fields,” Northey said.  “Harvest remains slightly ahead of the five-year average and will likely continue to advance rapidly if conditions remain dry.”

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