Warm weather and drier conditions allowed Iowa farmers 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 8, 2018, according to this week's crop progress report.. Activities for the week included, herbicide and fungicide applications, detasseling seed corn and harvesting hay.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 9 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 10 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus. Some fields remain ponded and have struggled to drain in the more saturated northern two-thirds of the State. In south central and southeast Iowa topsoil moisture supplies remain one-third to one-half short to very short.
Thirty-five percent of the corn crop has silked, 8 days ahead of both last year and the 5-year average. Seventy-eight percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition.
Forty-six percent of the soybean crop was blooming, over one week ahead of the average. Seven percent of the soybean crop was setting pods, 3 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-seven percent of the oat crop has headed with 51 percent turning color, 2 days ahead of the average. Seventy-eight percent of the oat crop was rated in good to excellent condition.
The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 49 percent complete, 6 days ahead of average. Drier conditions provided producers a window to put up more hay. Hay condition declined to 71 percent good to excellent. Pasture conditions also declined slightly to 64 percent good to excellent. Heat and high humidity have been hard on livestock, but cool overnight temperatures have helped reduce stress.
Nationally USDA lowered the corn condition rating by one point, to 75% good to excellent, ten points ahead of last year at this time and is four points ahead of the five-year average. The comparison is being made to 2016 in terms of similar ratings at this point in time. Soybean crop condition rating unchanged from last week, at 71% good to excellent. This figure is nine points ahead of a year ago at this time and is four points ahead of the five-year average.