Corn, soybeans both a week ahead of normal crop year

Warm weather and drier conditions allowed Iowa farmers 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 8, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included herbicide and fungicide applications, detasseling seed corn and harvesting hay.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 2 percent very short, 9 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa rated 84 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels across Iowa rated 4 percent very short, 10 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels in west central Iowa rated the same as topsoil – 84 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus.

Some fields remain ponded and have struggled to drain in the more saturated northern two-thirds of the state. In south central and southeast Iowa topsoil moisture supplies remain one-third to one-half short to very short.

Thirty-five percent of the corn crop has silked, eight days ahead of both last year and the 5-year average. Seventy-eight percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition.

Forty-six percent of the soybean crop was blooming (56 percent in WC Iowa), more than one week ahead of the average. Seven percent of the soybean crop was setting pods, three days ahead of last year and six days ahead of the average. Seventy-six percent of the soybean crop was rated in good to excellent condition.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 49 percent complete, six days ahead of average. Drier conditions provided producers a window to put up more hay. Hay condition declined to 71 percent good to excellent. Pasture conditions also declined slightly to 64 percent good to excellent. Heat and high humidity have been hard on livestock, but cool overnight temperatures have helped reduce stress.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Dr Justin Glisan state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – The Fourth of July holiday week was relatively calm compared to the previous few weeks.

Much of Iowa was able to dry out from last week’s widespread thunderstorm activity; a majority of the state saw below normal accumulations, from a few tenths to a little over an inch. On the other hand, Iowa’s northwest corner saw more rainfall, generally on the order of one to two inches above normal.

On Monday, July 2, only a handful of stations from Plymouth to Kossuth Counties recorded measurable rainfall, with Swea City observing 0.89 inches. The state was dry heading into Independence Day, though a cold front propagated through Iowa’s northern third during Wednesday afternoon. The full system moved through overnight into Thursday, bringing near normal temperatures and lower humidity. Pocahontas recorded 2.90 inches of rain from the frontal passage, which was the week’s highest rainfall accumulation and 2.74 inches above normal. There were also multiple reports of severe straight-line winds from Shelby County to Winnebago County, with a 61-mph gust in Lake Mills.

Thursday through Sunday saw nearly dry and sunny conditions reigning over the state. This pattern was attributed to a large high pressure system moving through Minnesota into the Great Lakes region. On Friday, July 6, a few counties in southeast and northwest Iowa observed measurable rain from isolated thunderstorms; Washta, in Cherokee County, reported 1.50 inches. Over the weekend, average highs ranged from the low-to-mid 80s across the north and mid-to-upper 80s in the south.

The week’s high temperature was 97 degrees and was observed in De Soto on Wednesday and Lamoni on Thursday. Sheldon, in O’Brien County, reported the week’s low temperature of 49 degrees on Saturday, July 7. This reading was 10 degrees below average.

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