Strong storms brought damaging winds and heavy precipitation to much of Iowa resulting in just 3.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 1, 2018, according to the latest USDA crop condition report.
Activities for the week included, assessing crop damage and harvesting hay when the weather permitted. Wind and intermittent showers prohibited spraying activity to a strong degree.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 5 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 9 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus. Heavy rainfall left many fields and pastures ponded. In south central Iowa the subsoil moisture supplies rated adequate to surplus increased to 46 percent; the highest percentage in these categories since the week ending July 9, 2017. Nationally good-to-excellent rating for corn eased a point, from 77% to 76%. That is still a high rating for this time of year and compares closely to crops in 2014 and 2016.
Seven percent of the corn crop has silked, a week ahead of both last year and the 5-year average. Seventy-eight percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition. Twenty-one percent of the soybean crop has bloomed, 4 days ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of the average. Seventy-six percent of the soybean crop was rated in good to excellent condition. Ninety-three percent of the oat crop has headed, 2 days ahead of average. Twenty-five percent of the oat crop was turning color, a day ahead of the average. Eighty percent of the oat crop was rated in good to excellent condition. Nationally the condition dropped from 73% to 71%, which is still the highest since 2014. Missouri's poor-to-very poor rating of 15% is soybeans' biggest problem as most other states are doing well overall.
The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 24 percent complete, a day behind last year and three days ahead of the average. Frequent storms continued to make putting up hay a challenge this week. Hay condition rated 74 percent good to excellent. Pasture conditions rated 66 percent good to excellent. Heat and high humidity continued to stress livestock. Flooding limited access to pastures and muddy conditions continued to make feedlot operations difficult