Iowa farmers had 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 15, 2018. The weekly crop condition report shows this was the greatest number of days suitable so far this crop year. Activities for the week included harvesting hay, scouting crops, and both ground and aerial herbicide and fungicide applications.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 11 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 12 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus.
In the northern two-thirds of the State flood-related nutrient loss and crop damage are a concern while drought conditions in south central and southeast Iowa persist.
Sixty-eight percent of the corn crop has silked, 1 week ahead of last year and 9 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn condition rated 78 percent good to excellent. Sixty-five percent of the soybean crop was blooming, with 21 percent of the soybean crop setting pods, 5 days ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of the average. Soybean condition rated 75 percent good to excellent. Seventy-three percent of the oat crop was turning color or beyond,with 18 percent of the crop harvested for grain. Oat condition was rated 77 percent good to excellent.
The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 72 percent complete, 8 days ahead of average. Dry conditions allowed hay growers to continue harvesting. Hay conditions rated 71 percent good to excellent. Pasture conditions declined slightly to 62 percent good to excellent. Heat and high humidity continued to stress livestock.