DES MOINES — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig on Monday commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Conditions report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.
“Near seasonal temperatures along with the pattern of dry conditions continued across most of the state last week,” Naig said. “With 4 percent of the corn and 15 percent of the soybeans nearing maturity, farmers are starting to prepare equipment for harvest.”
The weekly report is also available on the USDA’s site at nass.usda.gov.
Most of Iowa experienced cooler than normal temperatures and below normal precipitation during the week ending Sept. 8, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Fieldwork activities included harvesting hay and seed corn, chopping corn silage, seeding cover crops and preparing machinery for corn for grain and soybean harvest.
Topsoil moisture condition was rated 5 percent very short, 26 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Areas in 28 counties were rated as D1 moderate drought according to the Sept. 3, U.S. Drought Monitor due to the persistent lack of rain in parts of Iowa.
Subsoil moisture condition was rated 5 percent very short, 24 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.
Ninety-one percent of the corn crop was in or beyond the dough stage, 2 weeks behind last year and 12 days behind the 5-year average. Sixty percent of the crop reached the dented stage, 2 weeks behind last year and 9 days behind average. Four percent of corn had reached maturity, 11 days behind average. Corn condition rated 63 percent good to excellent.
Ninety-four percent of the soybean crop has started setting pods, 18 days behind last year and nearly 2 weeks behind average. Fifteen percent of the crop has begun coloring, 12 days behind last year and 9 days behind average. Soybean condition rated 61 percent good to excellent.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 76 percent, nearly 1 week behind average. Pasture condition declined from the previous week to 42 percent good to excellent. There were no livestock issues to report from this past week.
Drier than normal conditions prevailed across most of Iowa during the first week of September; precipitation deficits were generally under three-quarters of an inch across the state with only the southwest corner of Iowa reporting above average totals.
Weekly rainfall totals ranged from no accumulation at multiple locations to 2.56 inches in Shenandoah (Page County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.50 inches while the normal is 0.84 inches.
Temperatures were generally seasonable with departures of one to two degrees above and below average in parts of western and eastern Iowa, respectively. The statewide average temperature was 66.8 degrees, 1.8 degrees below normal.
The week’s high temperature of 92 degrees was reported on the 3rd in Donnellson (Lee County), 11 degrees above average. Elkader (Clayton County) and Manchester (Delaware County) reported the week’s low temperature of 45 degrees on the 9th, on average seven degrees below normal.