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. "While much of the state was able to start drying out this past week so farmers could get back in the fields, Southeast Iowa has continued to receive heavy rains that have limited fieldwork and could require some replanting," 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 follows here:
Farmers Welcome Warmer Weather
Agricultural Summary: Warmer, drier weather in Northern and West Central Iowa allowed farmers to get out in the fields again this week. Producers continued planting field crops, spraying weeds, and harvesting hay after one of the wettest weeks in two years. With the improved conditions last week, most crops have recovered from the frost and cooler weather experienced earlier in the month. Only a few reports have indicated a need to re-plant. Meanwhile, the southeast part of the state received more rain last week on already saturated fields, limiting fieldwork. Counties in Southeast Iowa have received over 10 inches of rain so far this month which has caused crop concerns. The emerged corn is lacking color and standing water in low lying fields will not permit newly planted crops to survive. The first cutting of alfalfa continued and looks to be in good condition. Pastures are reported in mostly fair to good condition, but have seen damage in areas due to wet conditions and grazing.
There were 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared with 1.2 days last week. The days suitable for fieldwork ranged from a low of 1.0 day in Southeast Iowa, where some reports indicate there were zero days suitable, to 5.5 days in Northwest Iowa. Topsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 19 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 77 percent adequate, and 21 percent surplus.
Field Crops Report: Corn acreage planted was 98 percent complete, increasing 2 percentage points from last week. Corn planting progress is 3 days ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of the five-year average. Corn acreage emerged was 84 percent, ahead of the 75 percent last year and the five-year average of 70 percent. Corn condition rated 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 54 percent good, and 11 percent excellent. Soybean acreage planted was 75 percent complete, similar to the 74 percent last year and 72 percent for the five-year average. Soybeans emerged reached 28 percent, 3 percentage points ahead of last year and 6 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Soybean condition rated 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 11 percent excellent. Ninety-seven percent of the expected oat acreage has emerged, just ahead of last year's 96 percent and the five-year average of 92 percent. Oat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 16 percent fair, 66 percent good, and 15 percent excellent. Sixteen percent of the first cutting of alfalfa has now been harvested, well ahead of the 3 percent that was reported last year. All hay condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 58 percent good, and 13 percent excellent.
Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 21 percent fair, 57 percent good, and 18 percent excellent. Pastures remain mostly in fair to good condition, despite the wet conditions. The increased temperatures are causing some heat stress on livestock, but should help dry the muddy feedlots.