Ag Secretary: Iowa farmers need a late frost - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ag Secretary: Iowa farmers need a late frost

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DES MOINES (KWWL) - Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says most of Iowa's crops remain in good to excellent condition, but the need for a late frost is becoming more evident.

The Iowa Crops and Weather report is released weekly by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service from April through October.  The report follows here:

Agricultural Summary: Another week of thunderstorms and cool temperatures last week kept farmers busy treating fields for soybean aphids and other diseases. Cool, damp conditions continue to keep crop development behind schedule. Corn and soybeans conditions are still rated mostly good to excellent; however, concerns are growing over the possibility of an early frost. Hay producers are making their final efforts in putting up quality hay before fall arrives.

There were 3.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared to the five-year average of 4.8 days. Topsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 5 percent short, 83 percent adequate, and 12 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 82 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus.

Field Crops Report: Nearly all of the corn crop has silked. Corn at or beyond the milk stage reached 90 percent, 5 percentage points ahead of last year, but 4 days behind the five-year average. Corn reported at or beyond the dough stage reached 49 percent, 1 percentage point behind last year, and 9 days behind the five-year average. Corn reported at or beyond the dent stage reached 10 percent, 2 percentage points behind last year, and 10 days behind the five-year average. Corn condition was rated 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 14 percent fair, 51 percent good, and 28 percent excellent.

Soybeans reached 99 percent blooming with 94 percent setting pods. Soybeans blooming are 1 percentage point ahead of last year, but 1 percentage point behind the five-year average. Soybeans setting pods are ahead of last year by 6 percentage points, but 2 percentage points behind the five-year average. Soybean condition was rated 2 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 15 percent fair, 56 percent good, and 23 percent excellent.

Alfalfa second cutting has reached 97 percent complete, 2 percentage points behind the five-year average, but 2 percentage points ahead of last year. Alfalfa third cutting has reached 42 percent complete, 16 percentage points behind the five-year average, but 11 percentage points ahead of last year. All hay condition was rated 2 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 48 percent good, and 13 percent excellent.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 17 percent excellent. Gains for cattle on feed were modest as cool temperatures returned to the State.

Online Producer: Jason Mortvedt

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