Iowa Crops Need Warm Weather To Advance Maturity

USDA weekly survey shows 74% of Iowa corn crop has tasseled as of July 28; compared to normal of 88%.

Published on: Jul 30, 2013

Iowa received a reprieve from the hot weather of previous weeks as the week ending July 18 was Iowa's coolest week since early June. In fact, Battle Creek in Ida County reported a low of 39 degrees on Sunday morning July 28. The cooler weather helps conserve Iowa's soil moisture for crops, as half of the state's topsoil is now rated short on moisture. Subsoil moisture is 8% very short, 32% short, 47% adequate, 2% surplus.

"The cooler weather is a nice reprieve and reduces stress on both crops and livestock, but the crop remains behind so we continue to need warm weather to help advance maturity," observes Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. "Much of the state could still benefit from some rain as corn can use over an inch of moisture each week during this part of the growing season."

UNUSUALLY COOL IN LATE JULY: Cooler weather this past week gave Iowa crops a reprieve from hot temperatures, and helped with the dry soil situation which is developing in a wider area. Weekly USDA survey as of July 28 shows 51% of Iowas topsoil is running short on moisture. Subsoil moisture is 40% short to very short. Iowas corn crop condition is rated 12% excellent, 41% good statewide. Soybeans are also rated 12% excellent and 41% good.
UNUSUALLY COOL IN LATE JULY: Cooler weather this past week gave Iowa crops a reprieve from hot temperatures, and helped with the dry soil situation which is developing in a wider area. Weekly USDA survey as of July 28 shows 51% of Iowa's topsoil is running short on moisture. Subsoil moisture is 40% short to very short. Iowa's corn crop condition is rated 12% excellent, 41% good statewide. Soybeans are also rated 12% excellent and 41% good.

The complete weekly report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's website or on USDA's site. The report summary follows here:

Iowa crops received a reprieve from hot weather, with cool-off this past week

CROP REPORT: Iowa farmers received a reprieve from hot weather during the week ending July 28, 2013, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service office in Des Moines, which conducts the weekly Iowa Crops & Weather survey. Although rainfall lessened moisture concerns in some areas, crops were still in need of additional precipitation, especially in western Iowa, which received the least amount of rain. Statewide there was an average of 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~

As of July 28 the survey showed 49% of Iowa's topsoil was in the adequate and surplus moisture categories, an increase of 6% from the previous week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 15% very short, 36% short, 47% adequate and 2% surplus. The rain was not significant enough to impact subsoil moisture ratings, which continued to decline. A total of 60% of subsoil was in the adequate and surplus categories, down 6% from last week. Subsoil moisture levels rated 8% very short, 32% short, 58% adequate and 2% surplus.

Three-fourths of Iowa corn crop now tassled, behind 5-year average of 88%

Seventy-four percent of the Iowa corn crop has tasseled, well behind last year's 99% and the five-year average of 88%. Half of the corn crop was silking as of July 28, lagging behind last year's 96% and the normal 77%. Five percent of the corn crop has reached the milk stage. Corn condition was rated 4% very poor, 11% poor, 32% fair, 41% good and 12% excellent.

Sixty-three percent of the soybean crop was blooming as of July 28, behind last year's 92% and the 5-year average of 83%. Pods were being set on 14% of the soybean crop, trailing last year's 54% and the normal 43%. Iowa's soybean crop condition was rated 3% very poor, 9% poor, 35% fair, 41% good and 12% excellent. Ninety-five percent of the oat crop has turned color, now only 1% behind the 5-year average of 96%. Forty-seven percent of the oat crop has been harvested, 10% behind normal. Oat condition was rated zero percent very poor, 5% poor, 31% fair, 53% good and 11% excellent.

The 2nd cutting of alfalfa was 75% complete, only 2 percentage points behind normal. Hay condition was rated 1% very poor, 8% poor, 31% fair, 48% good and 12% excellent. Pasture condition was rated 4% very poor, 14% poor, 34% fair, 38% good and 10% excellent. Livestock benefited from the cool weather during the week.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending July 28, 2013

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

The past reporting week began with very warm and humid weather on Sunday (July 21) and Monday (July 22). High temperatures were mostly in the 80's on Sunday and the upper 80's to mid-90's on Monday. Temperatures peaked at 95 degrees at Des Moines and Little Sioux on Monday with much cooler weather prevailing for the remainder of the reporting week. The coolest weather arrived over the weekend when daytime highs were mostly in the 60's and overnight lows mostly in the 40's. A few daily record low temperatures were recorded on Saturday (July 27) morning with records set over much of the state on Sunday (July 28) morning. Cresco reported an afternoon high of only 58 degrees on Saturday while Battle Creek in Ida County reported a low of 39 degrees on Sunday morning. This was Iowa's lowest July temperature since July 7, 1984.

Week ending July 28 was Iowa's coolest week since early June--Battle Creek in Ida County reported a low of 39 degrees on Sunday morning July 28

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 6.3 degrees below normal. This was Iowa's coolest week in eight weeks (early June). Meanwhile, there were three significant rain events during the reporting week. The first on Sunday (July 21) brought rain to about the southeast one-half of the state with locally heavy rain in south central Iowa where Chariton reported four inches. The second event came on Monday (July 22) evening with the cold frontal passage. Rain was mostly confined to the east one-half of the state with heaviest rains in central Iowa with 3.37 inches at Hampton. Unfortunately this rain event was accompanied by large hail and high winds in many areas with severe storms reported from 25 counties.

Finally, the largest event of the month came on Thursday (July 25) evening with rain falling nearly statewide and heaviest rain falling from north central to east central Iowa with Allison reporting 4.05 inches. Rain totals for the week varied from meager 0.01 inch totals at Rock Rapids and Atlantic to 5.85 inches at Hampton. The statewide average precipitation was 1.02 inches or just above the weekly normal of 0.97 inches.