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Iowa Gets Warm Weather and Drier Conditions
Iowa Ag Connection - 07/10/2018

Warm weather and drier conditions allowed Iowa farmers 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Sunday, 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 rated 2 percent very short, 9 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 10 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 17 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, 8 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, over one week ahead of the average. Seven percent of the soybean crop was setting pods, 3 days ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of the average. Seventy-six percent of the soybean crop was rated in good to excellent condition. Ninety-seven percent of the oat crop has headed with 51 percent turning color, 2 days ahead of the average. Seventy-eight percent of the oat crop was rated in good to excellent condition.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 49 percent complete, 6 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 Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig 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 November.

"Much of the state saw drier conditions last week that allowed saturated fields to start draining and gave farmers the opportunity to do some spraying and other work that had been delayed by the wet weather," Naig said. "In general crops are maturing quickly, with both corn and soybean development more than a week ahead of the five-year average."

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