Des Moines, Iowa —
September 12, 2011
Contact: Dustin Vande Hoef, 515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)
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.
“Silage harvest is mostly complete and seed corn harvest is in full swing,” Northey said. “A few folks have started to combine corn and soybeans and with drier weather, we are likely to see more in the next few weeks”
Most of Iowa remained dry for the week as farmers made progress harvesting corn for silage. Seed corn harvest is also well underway. Corn moisture levels remain too high for widespread corn for grain harvest although many farmers are making preparations.
There were 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. This is the highest statewide days suitable thus far in the 2011 crop year. Topsoil moisture fell to 12 percent very short, 33 percent short, 53 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture also declined slightly to 11 percent very short, 34 percent short, 54 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.
Nearly all the corn crop has advanced to at least the dough stage. Ninety-three percent of the corn is at or beyond the dent stage, behind last year but 10 percentage points ahead of normal. One-third of the corn crop is now mature, behind last year’s 56 percent but slightly ahead of the normal 30 percent. Corn condition improved and now stands at 5 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 45 percent good, and 12 percent excellent. Nearly half of soybean fields are turning color, trailing last year’s 70 percent and the five-year average 63 percent. Just 8 percent of Iowa’s soybean fields are dropping leaves, one week behind last year and normal. Soybean condition also improved and now stands at 4 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 48 percent good and 16 percent excellent. Third cutting alfalfa hay harvest advanced to 90 percent complete, equal to last year but ahead of the normal 83 percent. There are concerns about adequate hay supplies for the upcoming winter and spring. The condition of the hay crop is reported at 7 percent very poor, 17 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 37 percent good, and 7 percent excellent.
Pasture and range condition rated 11 percent very poor, 22 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 30 percent good, and 5 percent excellent. Livestock conditions have been ideal.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Iowa recorded its driest week in 30 weeks (early February) with measurable precipitation restricted to extreme southeast Iowa on Friday night. Salem (Henry Co.) and Keokuk reported the most rain with 0.26 inch. The statewide average precipitation was only a trace while normal for the week is 0.85 inch. The reporting week began with unseasonably cool weather with highs only in the 60s in many areas on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday despite sunny skies. A slow warming trend began on Thursday and continued through the weekend. Temperatures varied from morning lows of 37 degrees at Sheldon on Monday and Mason City on Tuesday to a Sunday (11th) afternoon high of 89 at Mason City. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged near normal over the far northwest to 4 to 5 degrees below normal over the southeast with a statewide average of 2.0 degrees sub normal.