CROP REPORT: Wet weather continues to hamper crops - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

CROP REPORT: Wet weather continues to hamper crops

DES MOINES (KWWL) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey Monday 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.

"Scattered storms across the state last week continued the pattern of wet weather this summer that has made field work a challenge and damaged the crops in poorly drained and low-lying fields," Northey said.  "Fortunately, the crops on side hills and well-draining land remain in good condition."

The report follows here:

Agricultural Summary: Last week's weather in Iowa once again fit the trend for the 2010 crop season. Scattered rain and storms were accompanied by hot, humid days causing rapid crop growth on well-draining land. Meanwhile, low-lying fields remained completely saturated, with many instances of ponding. The continued rainfall left farmers with less than ideal conditions for field work. Hay growth has been excellent and is reported in good condition, but harvesting is a challenge. The same can be said for oats. Producers are trying to finish oat harvest, but are struggling to get in the field with rainfall nearly every other day.

Crops are still reported mostly in good condition, even with the above average precipitation Iowa has received this summer. Corn looks extremely good in areas, while some fields have stunted yellow corn in lowland areas, and a few instances of drown out. Overall, soybeans look good, but some fields are showing visible signs of the consistent rain and excess moisture. Fortunately, aphid numbers are reported as low, given that many operators have not been able to spray; however, some fields have shown signs of sudden death syndrome in Central Iowa. Pastures continue to offer adequate grazing and relief for cattle. Less stress has been reported for cattle that are out in the open, compared to those in confinement.

There were 4.1 days suitable for fieldwork last week, compared with 3.0 days the previous week. Central Iowa had the lowest number of days suitable with 3.3 days, and Southwest Iowa reported the highest with 5.9 days suitable. Topsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 59 percent adequate, and 40 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 54 percent adequate, and 46 percent surplus.

Field Crops Report: Nearly all the corn acres have tasseled, 94 percent have silked, and 54 percent have reached milk stage; all three are still ahead of last year and the five-year average. Corn reached dough stage in 12 percent of the crop, ahead of last year, but equal to the five-year average. Corn condition was virtually unchanged at 3 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 43 percent good, and 27 percent excellent. Ninety-one percent of the soybean crop has bloomed, compared to 89 percent last year and 90 percent for the five-year average. Pods have set on 63 percent of the soybean acres, 2 days ahead of last year and 1 day ahead of the five-year average. Soybean condition changed very little with 3 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 25 percent excellent. Oats harvested for grain increased 26 percentage points last week to 83 percent complete, 7 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. Eighty-two percent of the second cutting of alfalfa has been completed, just ahead of the 79 percent completed last year, but behind the five-year average of 87 percent. Alfalfa third cutting progressed to 15 percent complete. All hay condition rated 3 percent very poor, 13 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 43 percent good, and 15 percent excellent.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 1 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 48 percent good, and 22 percent excellent. Heat has begun to take a toll on livestock. Continued high temperatures and humidity have led to some cases of heat exhaustion in sows getting ready to farrow and heat stress on confined cattle.

Online Producer: Jason Mortvedt

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