Crops flourishing in heat - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Crops flourishing in heat

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WATERLOO (KWWL) – 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.

"Crop conditions remain extremely varied throughout the state," Northey said. "In some areas crops look very good and are maturing ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, some areas continue to have too much moisture and have seen crop damage as a result."

The report follows here:

Agricultural Summary: High humidity and temperatures in the nineties maintained crop and field conditions throughout the state. Fields with ponded areas were able to dry and yellow crops not too severely hurt by the excess moisture greened up and may still be productive. The dry spell also allowed operators to continue field work. Farmers began spraying fungicide on corn now that most herbicide spraying has been completed. Producers nearly finished up the first cutting of alfalfa, as well as continued with their second cutting. By week's end however, field work ceased as strong storms ravaged Iowa with heavy rainfall and high winds knocking down trees. Power lines pulled to the ground by falling branches left several thousand Iowans without power. Luckily, no major crop damage was reported from this storm.

August-like weather in Iowa progressed crop growth, as they mature ahead of schedule. Reporters in northern Iowa indicated conditions look good. Meanwhile, some regions in Iowa still show signs of excess moisture, where sections of fields have had crops completely drowned out. Aphids are beginning to show up in a few soybean fields, but are not a severe concern. Alfalfa and oat producers were able to take advantage of the drier weather as they continued harvesting. While crops thrived in the muggy weather, livestock suffered. Wednesday's high temperature and heat index led to reports of hog losses in buildings and heat stress to cattle.

There were 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the past week, compared with 3.5 days the previous week. All nine districts in the state reported more than 4.0 days suitable, the first time since the week ending May 30th. Topsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 66 percent adequate, and 32 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 62 percent adequate, and 37 percent surplus.

Field Crops Report: Eighty-three percent of the corn acres have tasseled and 62 percent has silked, both are well ahead of last year and the five-year average. Corn reached milk stage in 6 percent of the crop, ahead of last year's 1 percent and equal to the five-year average. Corn condition rated 3 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 20 percent fair, 48 percent good, and 21 percent excellent. Seventy percent of the soybean crop has bloomed, compared to 57 percent last year and 66 percent for the five-year average. Pods have been set in 19 percent of the soybean acres, 2 days ahead of last year but equal to the five-year average. Soybean condition rated 3 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 51 percent good, and 18 percent excellent. Oats have turned color in 93 percent of the acres, ahead of last year's 84 percent and the five-year average of 88 percent. Oats harvested for grain increased 30 percentage points last week to 36 percent complete, 9 days ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of the five-year average. Oat condition rated 2 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 55 percent good, and 13 percent excellent. Fifty-nine percent of the second cutting of alfalfa has been completed, ahead of the 48 percent completed last year, but behind the five-year average of 61 percent. All hay condition rated 3 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 47 percent good, and 13 percent excellent.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 54 percent good, and 18 percent excellent. Pastures are still being reported in mostly good condition, ample precipitation has kept growth productive.

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