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Western Iowa Crops Showing Moisture Stress
Iowa Ag Connection - 07/14/2020

In spite of spotty showers, Iowa farmers had 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Sunday, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities included spraying and harvesting hay.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 5% very short, 22% short, 70% adequate and 3% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 3% very short, 17% short, 78% adequate and 2% surplus.

Corn silking or beyond reached 35%, 8 days ahead of the previous year and 2 days ahead of the 5-year average. There were scattered reports of corn reaching the dough stage. Corn condition rated 83% good to excellent. Soybean blooming reached 58%, 2 weeks ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of average. Soybeans setting pods reached 10%, 2 weeks ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 83% good to excellent. Oats turning color reached 73%, 8 days ahead of last year and 3 days ahead the average. There were reports of some oats being harvested for grain. Oat condition rated 86% good to excellent.

Alfalfa hay second cutting reached 61%, 11 days ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of the average. Hay condition rated 76 % good to excellent. Pasture condition rated 65% good to excellent. There were reports of heat stress and increased insect populations affecting livestock.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.

"While some areas of the state got rain over the past week, areas of western and west central Iowa missed out and are experiencing moisture stress in crops and pastures. Some areas also experienced localized hail events over the weekend," said Naig. "Short-term forecasts favor continued warm temperatures as corn pollination is underway in many areas of the state."

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