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Some Iowa Farmers Start to Chop Corn
Iowa Ag Connection - 07/24/2012

Another hot, dry week without significant precipitation in most areas of the state caused Iowa crop conditions to decline. With deteriorating crop conditions, there have been reports of some farmers starting to chop corn. Applying fungicide was the week's most common field activity.

There were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture levels declined to 74 percent very short, 23 percent short, 3 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. At least 95 percent of the topsoil moisture is rated short to very short in all of Iowa's districts. Subsoil moisture dropped to 64 percent very short, 32 percent short, 4 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus.

Ninety-six percent of the corn crop is at or beyond the tasseling stage, ahead of last year's 80 percent and the five-year average of 72 percent. Eighty-nine percent of the corn crop is silking, ahead of last year's 63 percent and the five-year average of 55 percent. Thirty-six percent of the corn crop has reached the milk stage. Twelve percent of the corn crop has reached dough stage, almost two weeks ahead of normal. Reports show corn has reached the dent stage in all districts except Northwest and Northeast Iowa. Corn condition is reported at 14 percent very poor, 26 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 21 percent good, and 2 percent excellent.

Eighty-five percent of the soybean crop is at or beyond blooming stage, ahead of last year's 74 percent and the five-year average of 72 percent. Pods are being set on 36 percent of the soybean crop, ahead of last year's 19 percent and the five-year average of 26 percent. Soybean condition is rated 10 percent very poor, 20 percent poor, 42 percent fair, 25 percent good, and 3 percent excellent. Ninety-one percent of the oat crop has been harvested, almost three weeks ahead of normal. Harvest of third cutting of alfalfa hay, at 51 percent complete, is a month ahead of normal. Hay condition is rated 27 percent very poor, 29 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 12 percent good, and 1 percent excellent.

Over three quarters of Iowa's pasture and range land is rated in poor to very poor condition. Pasture and range condition rated 46 percent very poor, 33 percent poor, 17 percent fair, 4 percent good, and 0 percent excellent. Excessive heat continues to cause livestock losses.

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