Iowa corn, soybeans suffer under growing drought – ‘Hot temperatures and lack of moisture continue to stress corn and soybeans as well as pastures and hay ground’Posted by Jim at Wednesday, September 11, 2013
By Donnelle Eller
9 September 2013
(Des Moines Register) – Another week of hot, dry weather continued to punish Iowa’s crops, with 35 percent of Iowa’s corn and 33 percent of soybeans rated good to excellent , a report looking at crop conditions through Sunday shows.
Last week, 39 percent of both Iowa corn and soybeans were rated good to excellent.
Crops in the nation’s leading corn- and soybean-growing states declined as well. Fifty-four percent of corn rated good to excellent, down from 56 percent last week.
Soybean conditions in the 18 growing states dipped to 52 percent this week from 54 percent last week.
“Hot temperatures and lack of moisture continues to stress corn and soybeans as well as pastures and hay ground,” said Bill Northey, Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, in a news release.
Northey is traveling with Gov. Terry Branstad in Japan and India this week.
Northey said crops have deteriorated from a month ago, when 51 percent of corn and 52 percent of soybeans were good to excellent.
A report last week showed about a third of Iowa was in a severe to moderate drought.
Today’s report shows 9 percent of Iowa corn was rated very poor, 19 percent poor and 37 percent fair. Ten percent of the state’s soybeans rated very poor, 20 percent poor and 37 percent fair.
With almost the entire Iowa soybean crop setting pods, 12 percent has begun turning color, the state said. Some of the earliest planted soybeans have begun to drop leaves.
Eight-five percent of topsoil moisture levels are considered short or very short.
The only rain of consequence came on Wednesday night into Thursday morning over the western one-third of the state, said Harry Hillaker, the state’s climatologist.
The statewide average precipitation was only 0.04 inch while normal for the week is 0.84 inches, Hillaker reported.