Variable precipitation across Iowa resulted in 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 18, 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Days suitable ranged from just 1.6 days in southeast Iowa to 5.3 days in the north central area. There were scattered reports of crop damage due to hail and high winds. Field activities included hauling grain, applying fungicides and insecticides, and harvesting hay and oats. Topsoil moisture levels rated 6% very short, 27% short, 62% adequate and 5% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 15% very short, 37% short, 46% adequate and 2% surplus. Producers reported crops responded well to recent rains while indicating more rain is needed.
Corn silking or beyond reached 60%, one day ahead of the 5-year average. Corn in the dough stage reached 6%, three days ahead of normal. Iowa’s corn condition was rated 68% good to excellent. Seventy-five percent of soybeans were blooming, 6 days ahead of the five-year average. Thirty percent of soybeans were setting pods, 4 days ahead of normal. Soybean condition was rated 66% good to excellent. Oats coloring reached 85%, 2 days ahead of normal. Almost one-quarter of oats for grain has been harvested, one day ahead of the 5-year average. Iowa’s oat condition improved mariginally to 63% good to excellent.
The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 63% complete, 3 days behind the 5-year average. There were reports of producers starting on their third cutting of hay. Hay condition rated 59% good to excellent. Pasture condition was rated 45% good to excellent. Some livestock producers were supplementing hay where grass is short, and there were scattered reports of pinkeye in calves.