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Serving: IA
Iowa Crops Need Sunshine And Heat

Iowa Crops Need Sunshine And Heat

Crop condition ratings for Iowa corn and soybeans have slipped a little, but the latest weekly report shows a large portion of both crops still rate "good to excellent" statewide.

Iowa's 2011 corn crop is rated 80% good to excellent for the week ending June 26. That is down 4% from the previous week. The rating for soybeans statewide in Iowa, at 76% good to excellent, is down 6% from the previous week.

Looking at the national figures, the U.S. corn crop for 2011 is now rated 68% good to excellent as of June 26, down 2% from the previous week. Soybeans for the U.S. are rated 65% good to excellent, down 3% from the previous week.

So there is a slight deterioration in the condition of the crops for the most recent week versus the previous week—both nationally and for Iowa. That's according to the latest weekly Crops & Weather report, issued June 27 by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) in Des Moines. Following is a summary the highlights of the survey results. The complete weekly report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture's website at and on USDA's site at

Dry weather is needed to let farmers spray weeds, and make hay

Wet weather and storms continue to make it difficult to spray fields and make hay, but fortunately much of the state's 2011 crop remains in good condition, notes Greg Thessen, director of the NASS office in Des Moines. The forecast for this week is for warmer, dry weather and hopefully it will hold so some of the wet spots can dry out and farmers will be able to get into their fields to get weeds sprayed and hay made.

Iowa Crop Conditions as of June 26, 2011

                                           This Week            Last Week   

                           Fair        Good    Excellent        Excellent

Corn                    16%        56%        24%            26%

Soybeans            19%        56%        20%             23%

Rain and storms throughout the week ending June 26 kept most producers across Iowa out of fields. Saturated ground is hampering spraying and hay making efforts. Crop reporters surveyed say some fields are getting very weedy. In the western third of the state ponding and flooding was occurring. Straight line winds caused some corn to lay over in some counties of western Iowa.

There were 2.1 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture rated zero percent very short, zero percent short, 63% adequate and 37% surplus. Subsoil moisture rated zero percent very short, 1% short, 64% adequate and 35% surplus.

Corn condition is reported at 1% very poor, 3% poor, 16% fair, 56% good and 24% excellent. Soybean condition is 2% very poor, 3% poor, 19% fair, 56% good and 20% excellent. About 76% of the oat crop has headed compared with 88% in 2010 and the average of 81%. Only 3% of the state's oat crop has turned color compared with 17% in 2010 and the average of 13%. Oat condition stands at zero percent very poor, 3% poor, 21% fair, 62% good and 14% excellent.

First cutting alfalfa hay harvest, at 79% complete, is slightly ahead of last year's 77% but behind the normal 83%. Second cutting alfalfa harvest, at 3% complete, is behind last year's 7% and the normal 6%. The condition of the hay crop is reported at 1% very poor, 6% poor, 28% fair, 53% good and 12% excellent.

Pasture and range condition is zero percent very poor, 4% poor, 22% fair, 52% good and 22% excellent. Livestock conditions have been good with the cooler than average temperatures and lush pastures.



Following is the preliminary weather summary for the week ending June 26, 2011. It is provided by Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Rainfall was frequent across Iowa with Friday (June 24) being the only day with widespread dry weather. Heaviest rains fell on Sunday (June 19) and Monday (June 20), particularly over south central and southeast Iowa which already had been the wettest areas of the state. Rain totals were above normal over all but a small area of northeast and east central Iowa. 

Precipitation amounts for the week varied from 0.30 inch at Clinton to 4.42 inches at Bloomfield and 4.41 inches at Logan. The statewide average rainfall was 1.96 inches while normal for the week is 1.08 inches. This was the sixth week of the past seven to average wetter than usual. 

This was 6th week of past 7 to average wetter than normal

Missouri River levels continued to rise slowly during the week with new record crests established in Mills and Fremont counties. Meanwhile warm and humid weather prevailed on Sunday (June 19) and Monday (June 20). 

Temperatures began to decline on Tuesday and were well below normal for the remainder of the week with daytime highs only in the 60s in many areas on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Temperature extremes for the week varied from afternoon highs of 89 degrees at Oakland and Lake Rathbun on Sunday (June 19) and at Shenandoah on Monday (June 20) to Friday (June 24) morning lows of 46 degrees at Sibley and Sheldon. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 3.5 degrees below normal. 

Severe thunderstorms, bringing high winds, were reported from 23 counties over the northwest two-thirds of Iowa on Monday night June 20. Finally, Iowa's most widespread severe weather outbreak so far this season struck large areas of the state on Sunday (June 26) evening and will be summarized in next week's report.

TAGS: Soybean USDA
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