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Iowa Corn Is Growing Fast, Ready To Tassel

Iowa Corn Is Growing Fast, Ready To Tassel

Weekly statewide survey shows warm, dry weather last week was good for crop development. Report released July 5 says 82% of Iowa's 2011 corn crop is in the "good to excellent" category.

Have you seen any cornfields tasseling yet in Iowa? On July 6 there were reports of tassels beginning to show in some early-planted fields in the southern part of the state. Also, a reader of this Wallaces Farmer online daily e-newsletter says a few tassels are beginning to shoot in some early-planted fields in northwest Iowa.

Lynn Brandt, a hail adjuster for Rain

In the next week to 10 days you'll hear about a lot of fields in Iowa tasseling, says Chip Mathis, who farms near Elkhart in central Iowa. Most of the corn and soybeans in northern Polk County where he's located look very good, he says. There are a number of spots near the Skunk River that had water standing in fields in June, which had about double the normal rainfall. These field areas where water stood are stunted and the crop is short. "However, my soybeans are doing great on my bottom ground," says Mathis.

Hail adjuster Lynn Brandt (see accompanying photo) works for Rain & Hail Insurance Company. The photo was taken June 30 as Brandt was checking the south end of one of the Mathis corn fields which had some hail damage. "That cornfield was planted May 9," says Chip Mathis. "It had already grown quite tall by the end of June and still looks great, especially where the hail didn't hit it. I put Lynn in the picture to show just how tall this corn was on June 30."

Iowa corn crop rated 82% "good to excellent" in latest weekly survey

About 82% of Iowa's 2011 corn crop is now in the "good to excellent" category, according to the weekly survey released July 5 by USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. The data was gathered from crop reporters statewide on June 3 and analyzed and released by the Iowa Office of USDA/NASS in Des Moines.

The warm, dry weather for the week ending July 3 was good for crop development and very welcome after several weeks of cool, wet weather had slowed crop progress. The complete Iowa Crops & Weather weekly report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture's site and it is also on USDA's site at

"Specifically, the corn condition for Iowa for the week ending July 3 is rated at 1% very poor, 2% poor, 15% fair, 54% good and 28% excellent," notes Greg Thessen, director of the Iowa NASS office.

Iowa Crop Conditions as of July 3, 2011

                                     This Week             Last Week

                    Fair        Good     Excellent     Excellent

Corn            15%         54%        28%             24%

Soybeans    17%         56%        23%             20%

Topsoil moisture levels statewide are zero percent very short, 5% short, 81% adequate and 14% surplus. Subsoil moisture is rated zero percent very short, 3% short, 78% adequate and 19% surplus.

About 79% of Iowa soybean crop is in good-to-excellent category

"The survey shows 13% of the state's soybean crop is now blooming, which is behind the previous year's 24% at this time a year ago and 22% for the 5-year average. Soybean condition statewide currently is reported at 1% very poor, 3% poor, 17% fair, 56% good and 23% excellent," notes Thessen.

Looking at the 2011 Iowa oat crop, 90% of the oat acreage has now headed compared to 97% at this time in 2010 and the 5-year average of 92%. About 20% of the oat crop has now turned color, lagging well behind the 47% in 2010 and the average 36%. Oat condition stands at zero percent very poor, 2% poor, 20% fair, 61% good and 17% excellent.

First cutting alfalfa hay harvest increased 15 percentage points to 94% complete, just ahead of last year's 91% and the normal 93%. Farmers in south central and southeast Iowa were able to complete 29% and 38% of their alfalfa first cutting last week, respectively, although they still lag over 10 percentage points behind the rest of the state. Second cutting alfalfa hay harvest, at 19% complete is behind last year's 30% and the normal 21% for this date.

Condition of Iowa's 2011 hay crop is rated 51% good, 15% excellent

The condition of the 2011 hay crop in Iowa as of July 3 is reported to be 2% very poor, 5% poor, 27% fair, 51% good and 15% excellent.

Pasture and range condition is 1% very poor, 3% poor, 20% fair, 55% good and 21% excellent. "Hot and humid conditions Thursday June 30 and Friday July 1 were uncomfortable for livestock in Iowa, although the wind mitigated the stress," according to the weekly weather and crop report.


IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY for week ending July 3, 2011

By Harry Hillaker, state climatologist at the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship in Des Moines

Thunderstorms were widespread at the beginning of the reporting week on Sunday (June 26) evening and night bringing heavy rainfall to the southern one-third of the state and parts of northwest Iowa. The storms were accompanied by widespread high winds and some hail with severe storms reported from 31 counties over the southwest one-half of the state.

Dry weather prevailed from Monday (June 27) through Friday (July 1) with thunderstorms over parts of north central, west central and central Iowa on Saturday (July 2) night. Some of these storms brought high wind and hail with severe weather reported from 14 counties. Finally, an area of mostly light rain was moving into southwest Iowa early Sunday (July 3) morning.

Weekly rain totals varied from none at Guttenberg to 3.93 inches near Cleghorn in northern Cherokee County. The statewide average precipitation was 0.92 inches or just a little less than the weekly normal of 1.04 inches.

Missouri River levels remain at flood stage, but have declined slightly

River levels remain very high along the Missouri River but declined slightly from the previous week. Meanwhile, the reporting week began with slightly cooler than usual weather prevailing from Sunday (June 26) through Wednesday (June 29) with highs mostly in the mid 70s to mid 80s. Sibley and Sheldon reported the week's lowest temperatures with Tuesday morning lows of 48 degrees.

However, very hot and humid weather briefly dominated the state on Thursday (June 30) and Friday (July 1) with actual highs in the 90s statewide and heat indices well over 100 degrees. The highest official actual temperatures were 97 degree readings recorded at numerous locations on both Thursday and Friday. Official heat indices topped out at 111 degrees at Des Moines on Thursday although unofficial readings were much higher. Finally, temperatures returned to more seasonal levels over the weekend. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 1.7 degrees above normal.

TAGS: Soybean USDA
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