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.
“Much of the state received some needed moisture last week that will hopefully help crops as they move towards maturity. We are starting to see some corn being chopped for silage, including areas that have been impacted by drought and farmers need additional forage for their livestock,” Northey said.
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:
Iowa experienced below normal temperatures and received adequate rain throughout the western half of the state during the week ending August 27, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included haying, hauling grain, chopping corn, and harvest equipment preparation.
Topsoil moisture levels improved to 13 percent very short, 26 percent short, 60 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Topsoil moisture levels in south central Iowa were reported at 85 percent short to very short. This is the first time in 5 weeks that topsoil moisture has been less than 90 percent short to very short in that district. Subsoil moisture levels rated 18 percent very short, 31 percent short, 50 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.
Eighty-eight percent of the corn crop was in or beyond the dough stage, 8 days behind last year, but 2 days ahead of the five-year average. Forty-one percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage, 8 days behind last year and four days behind average. Sixty percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition. Ninety-four percent of soybeans were setting pods, 2 days behind last year but 1 day ahead of average. Six percent of soybeans started to turn color, 3 days behind average. Soybean condition improved slightly to 60 percent good to excellent. Similar pests and weeds as last year were reported for soybeans, with limited reports of disease pressure such as sudden death syndrome or mold issues.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 82 percent complete, 6 days ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of average. Pasture condition rated 17 percent very poor, 23 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 22 percent good and 3 percent excellent. Lack of water in ponds and creeks continues to be an issue in the southern district for cattle, with reports of cattlemen hauling water and using CRP acres for emergency haying and grazing.