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Northey Comments On Iowa Crops/Weather Report

Updated: Monday, July 15 2013, 08:41 PM CDT

DES MOINES -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.  The report is released weekly from April through October.

“It is hard to believe after the wet weather this spring, but crops across much of the state could use some rain after a few weeks of dry weather,” Northey said.  “Crops remain behind the five-year average, but farmers are starting to see some corn that is tasseling and a few soybeans are starting to bloom.”

The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at or on USDA’s site at

The report summary follows here:

Dry weather continued across most of Iowa during the week ending July 14, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. The only significant precipitation was received in the north central and northeast portions of the state. The dry weather was good for putting up hay and applying herbicides, but crops are beginning to need additional moisture. Statewide there was an average of 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork, the most this crop year. Northeast Iowa had only 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork, while in South Central Iowa the entire week was suitable for fieldwork.

The warm and dry weather led to a decline in soil moisture levels. Statewide, 65 percent of topsoil is in the adequate and surplus categories, a 23 percentage point decline from last week and 84 percent of subsoil is in the adequate and surplus categories, down 12 percentage points from last week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 5 percent very short, 30 percent short, 61 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 15 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus.

Five percent of the corn crop had tasseled, well behind last year’s 83 percent and the five-year average of 42 percent. Scattered reports of the corn crop beginning to silk were received. Corn condition was rated 4 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 45 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Thirteen percent of the soybean crop is blooming, lagging behind last year’s 71 percent and two weeks behind normal. Soybean condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 46 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Forty-five percent of the oat crop has turned color, behind last year’s 97 percent and the five-year average of 74 percent. Oat harvest has begun across most of the State.

The 2nd cutting of alfalfa is 27 percent complete, behind the five-year average of 52 percent. Hay condition was rated at 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 52 percent good and 14 percent excellent. Pasture conditions were beginning to deteriorate as continued warm and dry conditions have limited the growth of grasses. Pasture and range conditions rated 2 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 48 percent good and 12 percent excellent.

By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Dry weather became more of a concern over much of Iowa this past reporting week. Light rain fell Sunday (7th) night into Monday (8th) morning over the northeast and southeast corners of the state although there were a few local totals of more than an inch in the northeast. The most widespread rain came on Tuesday (9th) morning when nearly all of Iowa received some measurable rain but significant totals were again restricted to a few areas in the northeast. Dry weather then prevailed until Saturday (13th) when rain fell over much of northern Iowa and a small portion of the southwest. Very heavy rain fell over portions of north central Iowa where Lake Mills recorded 4.75 inches. Rain totals for the week ranged from only sprinkles at Chariton and Ottumwa to 5.45 inches at Lake Mills. The statewide average precipitation was 0.47 inches while normal for the week is 1.05 inches. Meanwhile, the reporting week began with very warm and humid conditions prevailing from Sunday (7th) through Tuesday (9th) with highs climbing into the 90’s over portions of the state. Cooler and drier air dominated the state from Wednesday through Saturday with temperatures edging back above normal on Sunday (14th). Temperature extremes for the week ranged from afternoon highs of 95 degrees at Hampton, Clarion and Pocahontas on Monday (8th) to a Thursday (11th) morning low of 52 degrees at Chariton. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged about one degree cooler than usual over the southeast and two to four degrees above normal in the far northwest. The statewide average temperature for the week was 0.9 degrees above normal.

Northey Comments On Iowa Crops/Weather Report

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