Iowa crop condition ratings hit the lowest of the season


In spite of some locally heavy rain, Iowa farmers had 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 6, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Although drought conditions continue to be a concern for most of the State, some areas of northeast and east central Iowa received over an inch of rain during the week.

Field activities included harvesting hay, chopping corn silage and harvesting seed corn. There were reports of high moisture corn and a few soybean fields harvested. Topsoil moisture condition rated 38% very short, 42% short, 20% adequate and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 38% very short, 41% short, 21% adequate and 0% surplus.

The State’s topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions continue to be over three quarters short to very short. Corn was 84% in or beyond dent stage, 18 days ahead of the previous year and 1 week ahead of the 5-year average. Over one-quarter of the crop was mature, almost 3 weeks ahead of last year and just over 1 week ahead of average.

Corn condition rated 43% good to excellent, a drop of 2 percentage points from the previous week. Soybeans coloring or beyond advanced to 58%. That is 2 weeks ahead of last year and 1 week ahead of average. Soybeans dropping leaves reached 19% this week, two weeks ahead of last year and 1 week ahead of average. This is the highest percentage dropping leaves by September 6 since 2005. Soybean condition fell again this week with the crop now rated 47% good to excellent, the lowest level so far this season.

Alfalfa hay third cutting was 93% complete, over a month ahead of last year and 2 weeks ahead of the 5-year average. Pasture condition fell 4 percentage points this week to just 12% good to excellent. Over half of Iowa’s pastures are in poor to very poor condition. Cattlemen continue supplemental feeding of hay due to deteriorating pasture conditions.

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