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.
“Farmers continued to make good progress between the scattered rain showers and thunderstorms. Planting is nearly complete and farmers are spraying for weeds and side dressing nitrogen fertilizer,” Northey said. “Overall this has been a pretty good spring as farmers have gotten crops in the ground in a timely manner and periodic rainfall has helped replenish some needed soil moisture.”
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 summary follows here:
Warm weather and favorable moisture conditions accelerated crop and pasture growth during the week ending June 1, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork. Other activities for the week included spraying, herbicide application, and nitrogen side dressing.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 14 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 6 percent very short, 25 percent short, 64 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. For the first time this year, southeast Iowa had the driest topsoil with 10 percent in very short condition, while northwest Iowa continued to have the driest subsoil with 21 percent in very short condition.
With almost all of Iowa’s corn acreage planted, 89 percent of the crop has emerged, 19 percentage points ahead of last year but equal to the five year average. The season’s first corn condition rating came in at 0 percent very poor, 1 percent poor, 17 percent fair, 65 percent good, and 17 percent excellent. Soybean planting progress reached 94 percent complete, almost three weeks ahead of last year and over two weeks ahead of normal. Sixty-three percent of the soybean crop has emerged, 42 points above last year and 4 points above average. With most of the oat acreage emerged, 12 percent of the oat crop was headed, ahead of last year’s 3 percent but behind average by 3 percentage points. Oat condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 10 percent excellent.
The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 22 percent complete, 19 percentage points ahead of last year but 12 points less than average. Hay condition was rated 0 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 17 percent excellent. Pasture condition improved to 2 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 48 percent good and 14 percent excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as above average.