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Iowa Soil Moisture Mostly Very Short to Short
Iowa Ag Connection - 07/27/2021

Hot, dry conditions and minimal rain allowed Iowa farmers 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Sunday, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field activities included applying fungicides and insecticides and harvesting hay and oats.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 14% very short, 39% short, 46% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 20% very short, 40% short, 39% adequate and 1% surplus. The shortage of moisture was especially evident in northwest Iowa, where topsoil was rated 70% short to very short and subsoil was rated 84% short to very short. In some parts of the State creeks have gone dry due to lack of rain.

The lack of precipitation is causing some stress on crops, especially in the northern third of the State. Corn silking or beyond reached 80%, equal to the 5-year average. Corn in the dough stage reached 21%, three days ahead of normal. Iowa's corn condition was rated 65% good to excellent. There were scattered reports of corn in the dent stage. Eightyfive percent of soybeans were blooming, 6 days ahead of the five-year average. Over half of Iowa's soybeans were setting pods, also 6 days ahead of normal. Soybean condition was rated 61% good to excellent. Oats coloring or beyond reached 94%, two days ahead of normal. Forty-eight percent of oats for grain have been harvested, 1 day ahead of the 5-year average. Iowa's oat condition rated 64% good to excellent.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 83% complete. The third cutting was reported at 8% complete, equal to the 5-year average. Hay condition rated 60% good to excellent. Pasture condition was rated 44% good to excellent. High temperatures and humidity are impacting livestock and some producers are still fighting pinkeye in cows and calves.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said, "Warmer temperatures combined with a drier weather pattern moved into Iowa over the last week. Forecasts show county fairgoers are going to experience hot temperatures as the heat wave continues across the state. We're hearing about moisture stressed crops, especially in the drought region, so we're keeping an eye on rain chances predicted over the weekend."


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