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Good start for Iowa's corn, soybeansGood start for Iowa's corn, soybeans

Warm weather last week helped keep crop development ahead of normal.

Rod Swoboda

June 9, 2020

3 Min Read
crop emerges from field
GROWING: Iowa’s corn crop is rated 85% in good-to-excellent condition as of June 7; soybeans are rated 82% in that category. Rod Swoboda

Above-normal temperatures across most of Iowa last week allowed for rapid crop development. The latest weekly crop progress survey by USDA shows corn planting is now nearly complete, and the soybean crop is 97% planted. During the week ending June 7, conditions were ideal for farmers to cut hay across much of the state.

“Some pockets of dryness are popping up across parts of our state,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig on June 8, when the report was released. “But those areas could see some relief this week as the remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal brings chances of rain.”

The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress and Conditions report is available on USDA’s site at nass.usda.gov/ia.

Crop report

Drier weather allowed Iowa farmers 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 7, according to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. Weather conditions allowed many farmers to get their first cutting of hay baled.

Topsoil moisture rated 0% very short, 4% short, 85% adequate and 11% surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 0% very short, 3% short, 87% adequate and 10% surplus.

Corn planting was nearly complete with emergence at 97%, over two weeks ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of the five-year average. Corn condition is rated 85% good-to-excellent.

The soybean crop moved to 97% planted, three weeks ahead of last year and 12 days ahead of average. Soybean emergence reached 87%, 10 days ahead of average. Soybean condition is rated 82% good-to-excellent.

Iowa’s oat crop progressed to 18% headed, which is 2two days ahead of last year but five days behind average. Oat condition is rated 81% good-to-excellent.

Dry weather allowed over one-third of the first cutting of alfalfa hay to be completed during the week ending June 7, reaching 54% complete so far for 2020. Only southwest and south-central Iowa farmers were unable to complete at least one-third of the first cutting of alfalfa hay during the week.

Hay condition for Iowa is rated 75% good-to-excellent. Pasture condition improved to 70% good-to-excellent. There was little stress on livestock reported.

Weather summary

According to the calendar, summer doesn’t officially start until June 20. But this year on June 1, unseasonable warmth returned to Iowa. Temperatures were generally in the range of 6 to 10 degrees F above normal across western Iowa, reports Justin Glisan, state climatologist at the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

Statewide average temperature for the week ending June 7 was 76.2 degrees, which was 9.4 degrees above normal. Drier conditions were reported across Iowa’s southwest two-thirds, from 1 to 2 inches below normal. Pockets of above-average rainfall were reported in northeast Iowa.

Weekly rain totals ranged from no accumulation at multiple western stations to 1.98 inches in Dakota City (Humboldt County). Statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.60 inch, while normal is 1.17 inches. Spencer Municipal Airport (Clay County) reported the week’s high temperature of 100 degrees on June 2, a robust 23 degrees above normal. Fayette (Fayette County) reported the week’s low temperature of 44 degrees on the June 1, which was 8 degrees below normal.

U.S. crop ratings improve

Looking nationwide, U.S. corn and soybean crops continued to improve last week. The USDA report released June 8 shows farmers nationally have 97% of the corn crop planted, ahead of the five-year average of 94%. Meanwhile, 89% of the nation’s corn has emerged, versus an 84% five-year average. USDA gives the U.S. corn crop a 75% good-to-excellent rating, up from 74% a week ago.

USDA says soybean planting is 86% complete in the U.S., versus a 79% five-year average. Meanwhile, 67% of the U.S. soybean crop has emerged, versus a 61% five-year average. USDA is giving the nation’s soybean crop a good-to-excellent rating of 72%, versus 70% a week ago.


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