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Northey comments on Iowa crops report

Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 12:31 p.m. CDT

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.

“Finally, much of the state had several days of dry weather in a row, and a lot of farmers were able to take advantage and get some corn and quite a few soybeans planted,” Northey said.  “It has been an extremely challenging planting season and many farmers are making tough decisions about how to handle the significant acreage that they still have been unable to get planted.”

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. A report summary is as follows:

Warm and mostly dry weather allowed farmers to make progress getting crops planted during the week ending June 23, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there was an average of 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork. The week had the most days suitable for fieldwork in over a month, and the second most for the year. South East Iowa had the most suitable conditions for fieldwork and had 5.4 days suitable.

Moisture levels for both topsoil and subsoil continue to be rated mostly adequate and surplus. Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 59 percent adequate and 40 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 65 percent adequate and 34 percent surplus.

Iowa’s corn crop was 96 percent planted, marking the first year since 1993 that any corn remained to be planted this late in the year. Ninety-three percent of the corn crop has emerged, normally all corn would be emerged. Corn condition showed a very slight improvement, and was rated 3 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 44 percent good and 10 percent excellent.

Ninety percent of the soybean crop has been planted, an advancement of 13 percentage points from last week, but still below the normal 98 percent. Seventy-five percent of the soybean crop has emerged; still well behind the five-year average of 94 percent. The soybean condition rating improved slightly, and was rated 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 44 percent good and 9 percent excellent. Sixty-seven percent of the oat crop was headed, almost catching up with the normal 72 percent headed. The oat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 56 percent good and 12 percent excellent.

Farmers took advantage of the dry weather to make good progress harvesting alfalfa. The first cutting of alfalfa hay increased over 40 percentage points from last week, and now stands at 72 percent complete, still behind the five year average of 77 percent. Hay condition was rated at 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 52 percent good and 15 percent excellent.

Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 47 percent good and 23 percent excellent.

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