Iowa received 1.5 inches of rainfall in the seven days ending Sunday June 17, compared to a normal average of 1.19 for the week. However, the rain was spotty as parts of the state got hardly a trace while some areas received a lot more.
The government's weekly statewide survey rates Iowa's 2012 corn crop, which has just begun to silk in some fields, at 67% good to excellent, slightly below the 70% agronomists say is needed to get an average yield. Soybeans are rated at 61% good to excellent in Iowa, according to the Iowa Crops & Weather report released June 18 by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service in Des Moines.
"Much of the state received timely rains last week, but the hot dry weather remains a concern and is impacting crop conditions," observes Bill Northey, Iowa secretary of agriculture. "Pasture land in particular has been stressed and the result is less than half of Iowa's pastures are rated in good to excellent condition."
Iowa needs at least an inch of rain per week now, as corn is growing rapidly
Some areas of Iowa have received adequate to ample moisture as of mid-June, other parts haven't received enough. "The Iowa corn crop is starting to enter the grand phase of growth, it is growing rapidly, inches per day," says Iowa State University Extension corn agronomist Roger Elmore. "It's using a lot of water now and we're concerned as we look forward. We'd like to have an inch of rain per week as a statewide average. Until last week, we haven't been getting that."
How is root development of Iowa's corn and soybean crops this year? "Unfortunately there's not a lot of reserve moisture down in the subsoil," says Elmore. "Iowa's subsoil moisture ratings don't look good. We're going to have to rely on timely rains to get this crop through the summer—unless we get a lot of rain that recharges the subsoil moisture supply."