Iowa: Crops Advancing Well in Good Condition – USDA

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending August 17, 2014.

    Below average precipitation across much of Iowa caused a drop in soil moisture, especially in the northeastern part of the State during the week ending August 17, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.6 days suitable for field work during the week. Activities for the week included aerial spraying and hay baling.

    Topsoil moisture levels rated 8 percent very short, 23 percent short, 67 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 6 percent very short, 22 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Northeast Iowa was the driest with over 60 percent of topsoil in very short to short condition.

    Three-quarters of Iowa’s corn crop was in the dough stage or beyond, 16 days ahead of last year and 8 days ahead of the five-year average. Sixteen percent of the corn crop was in the dent stage, 10 days ahead of the previous year but 4 days behind normal. Three-quarters of the corn acreage was reported in good to excellent condition. Eighty-eight percent of the soybean crop was setting pods or beyond, 20 percentage points above last year and 2 points above average. Soybean condition was 73 percent good to excellent. Oat harvest for grain was 97 percent complete, equal to the previous year but slightly behind normal.

    The second cutting of alfalfa hay was 95 percent complete, 2 percentage points below last year and 1 point below the five-year average. The third cutting of alfalfa hay advanced to 36 percent complete, 1 day ahead of the previous year but just over one week behind the normal pace. Sixty-five percent of all hay was rated in good to excellent condition.

    Pasture condition continued to deteriorate and was rated 54 percent good to excellent. Stress on livestock was minimal with some areas reporting higher insect populations.

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

    It was another unseasonably cool week across Iowa with temperatures below normal in most areas throughout the week. Temperature extremes varied from a Wednesday (13th) morning low of 47 degrees at Stanley (Buchanan Co.) to a Saturday (16th) afternoon high of 86 degrees at Rock Rapids. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from two to three degrees below normal over the northwest to five to six degrees subnormal over the southeast.

    The statewide average temperature was 3.6 degrees below normal. Little, if any, rain fell across the northeast one-third of Iowa this past week where some locations have not had a substantial rain event since late June. Meanwhile, very localized heavy rains fell over parts of the southwest one-half of Iowa on Sunday (10th). However, the bulk of this week’s rain fell on Friday (15th) over southwest and south central Iowa where Murray (Clarke Co.) reported 5.03 inches. The statewide average precipitation was 0.69 inches while normal for the week is 0.98 inches.

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