Corn, soybeans both ahead of five-year average

Iowa remained mostly dry with scattered reports of rainfall during the week ending July 30, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included applying fungicides and insecticides, harvesting oats, and haying.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 22 percent very short, 31 percent short, 45 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa rated 21 percent very short, 51 percent short, and 28 percent adequate.

South central Iowa reported two-thirds of topsoil moisture as very short. According to the July 25 U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of south central Iowa were considered under severe drought conditions.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide fell to 19 percent very short, 31 percent short, 48 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa were 17 percent very short, 45 percent short and 38 percent adequate.

Ninety-one percent of Iowa’s corn crop has reached the silking stage, three days behind last year but five days ahead of the five-year average. Nineteen percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage, four days behind last year and two days behind average. Corn condition declined to 2 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 52 percent good and 13 percent excellent.

Soybeans blooming reached 85 percent, four days behind last year but one day ahead of average. Fifty-two percent of soybeans were setting pods, two days ahead of average. Soybean condition decreased slightly to 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 51 percent good and 9 percent excellent.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 95 percent, four days ahead of last year and nearly two weeks ahead of average. The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 22 percent complete, one day ahead of average. Hay condition dropped to 54 percent good to excellent, while pasture condition was rated 37 percent good to excellent. Reduced temperatures improved livestock conditions; however, supplemental feeding of hay and rotation of pastures were reported due to lack of rain causing poor pasture conditions.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship – It was a mostly dry week across Iowa with seasonal temperatures. The week’s only rain came on Wednesday, July 26, when showers and thunderstorms covered most of the state. The most widespread rains fell across about the western one-third of the state, plus far eastern portions of Iowa. No rain fell over portions of central and south central Iowa at such locations as Waterloo, Marshalltown, Grinnell and Fairfield.

Mount Pleasant recorded the most rain with 2.20 inches while Denison and Schleswig in Crawford County both picked up 1.90 inches. The statewide average rain amount was 0.36 inches while normal for the week is 0.95 inches.

Temperatures for the week averaged a degree or two above normal over the southwest portions of Iowa and a degree or two below normal across the northeast with a statewide average of 0.3 degrees below normal.

Weekly temperature extremes varied from a Tuesday afternoon high of 97 degrees at Sioux City to lows of 51 degrees at Cresco on Saturday, July 29, and Lowden on Sunday, July 30.

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