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Northey Comments On Iowa Crops And Weather Report

July 11, 2014
Northern-Sun Print
DES MOINES - Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa crop progress and condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October. "Strong storms and wet fields continue to stress some crops and create challenges for famers needing to make hay, spray weeds or side-dress fertilizer," Northey said. "Fortunately, much of the crop remains in pretty good condition, but needs some warm and dry weather to help dry fields." The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here: Crop Report Above average precipitation in Iowa limited fieldwork yet again during the week ending July 6, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were just 2.6 days suitable for fieldwork, the third week in a row with less than 3.0 days suitable for fieldwork. Weed control and nitrogen side-dressing were behind due to wet conditions and the inability to get equipment through fields. Many producers reported yellowing corn and stress on soybeans due to excessive moisture. Precipitation raised soil moisture levels marginally this week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 61 percent adequate, and 37 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 67 percent adequate, and 25 percent surplus. Over one-quarter of the State's topsoil remained in surplus condition, with the exception of southeast Iowa. There were scattered reports of corn silking across Iowa. Seventy-six percent of the corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition, a decrease of 3 percentage points. Twenty-one percent of the soybean acreage was blooming, 11 days ahead of the previous year but 2 days behind normal. A few farmers reported soybeans setting pods. Decreasing 2 percentage points from the previous week, 73 percent of the soybean crop was rated in good to excellent condition. Ninety-five percent of the oat crop has headed, 2 percentage points above last year but equal to the five-year average. Thirty-one percent of the oat acreage has turned color, 10 percentage points ahead of the previous year but 15 points behind average. Seventy-three percent of the oat acreage was reported in good to excellent condition, dropping 1 percentage point from last week. Farmers struggled to get their first cutting of alfalfa hay baled, advancing only five percentage points from last week. The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 95 percent complete, falling slightly behind both last year and average. The second cutting of alfalfa was 12 percent complete, two days ahead of last year but almost two weeks behind normal. Sixty-seven percent of all hay was rated in good to excellent condition. Pasture condition rated 74 percent good to excellent. Stress on livestock increased toward the week's end with the high humidity and heat. Iowa Preliminary Weather Summary By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship Heavy rains fell across Iowa for the third consecutive week, this time focused upon the central one-third of the state and particularly across east central sections of Iowa. Most of the rain fell in two periods with the larger event coming from Sunday (29th) morning into Monday (30th) evening. The second event began over northwest Iowa late on Friday (4th) and continued into Saturday (5th) afternoon over the southeast. High winds and/or large hail were reported from 24 counties on the 29th and from 41 counties on the 30th with every county between Interstate 80 and U.S Highway 20 reporting severe weather on one or both of these dates. The first event brought very heavy rain to east central Iowa with 7.63 inches falling near Center Junction in Jones County. The heaviest rain from the second event fell across west central and southwest Iowa with Red Oak reporting the most rain with 3.90 inches while extreme northeast Iowa missed this storm system. Weekly rain totals varied from 0.15 inches at Estherville and 0.16 inches at Rock Rapids to 7.72 inches near Center Junction and 6.96 inches at Muscatine. The statewide average rainfall was 2.49 inches or more than double the weekly normal of 1.09 inches. Meanwhile, temperatures were slightly above normal to start the reporting week on Sunday (29th) and slightly below normal on Monday (30th). The remainder of the week was unseasonably cool with daytime highs only in the 60s in some areas on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. At Lake Rathbun the Wednesday afternoon high of 62 degrees tied for the lowest July daytime high since records began at that location in 1970. Temperature extremes varied from afternoon highs of 89 degrees at Bloomfield and Keokuk on Monday (30th) and also at Sibley on Saturday (5th) while Battle Creek (Ida Co.) and Stanley (Buchanan Co.) reported lows of 45 degrees on Thursday morning. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 5.8 degrees below normal.

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