Hot, dry weather continued across the state with a few reports of notable precipitation during the week ending July 16, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included hauling grain, applying herbicides, cultivating, and haying.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 18 percent very short, 33 percent short, 48 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Over 85 percent of south central and southeast Iowa’s topsoil falls into the short to very short moisture level categories, while 90 percent of northeast Iowa’s topsoil falls into the adequate to surplus categories. Subsoil moisture levels rated 13 percent very short, 29 percent short, 57 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

Thirty-seven percent of Iowa’s corn crop has reached the silking stage, 5 days behind last year and 2 days behind the 5-year average. Corn conditions deteriorated slightly to 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 58 percent good, and 13 percent excellent. A little over half of the soybean crop was blooming, with eleven percent of soybeans setting pods which is equal to the average. Soybean condition also fell to 2 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 54 percent good, and 9 percent excellent. Virtually all the oat crop has headed with 79 percent turning color or beyond, 5 days behind last year. Eighteen percent of oats for grain or seed have been harvested, 6 days behind last year and average. Oat condition rated 72 percent good to excellent. Crops were described as suffering from heat stress and lack of moisture across much of the state.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 76 percent complete, 8 days ahead of average. Hay condition rated 64 percent good to excellent. Scattered reports of third cutting of alfalfa were received. Pasture condition continued to decline with just 46 percent good to excellent. High temperatures and humidity were reported to cause heat stress to livestock.

Source;  Iowa Dept of Ag

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