Iowa’s corn and soybean crops are, for the most part, benefiting from summer heat and timely rains.
Monday’s USDA weekly crop update says statewide corn maturity is five-days ahead of last year, and nearly two-weeks ahead of average. More than a third of the corn acreage is at the dough-stage of maturity.
Iowa State University agronomist, Paul Kassel, is based in Spencer, and monitors corn and soybeans in ten northwest and north-central counties.
“The corn is well into the milk stage,” he says. “Some of it is even past that, into the dough stage. So, for the most part, crop looks good. There are some wet areas that are kind of covered up now. We don’t think about. So that’s one thing that’s hurt our overall yield. Lot of people have had around five inches of rain in July. Some have had more than that.”
Statewide, 83-percent of the corn and soybean acreage is rated in good-to-excellent condition.
The drenching rains that pounded parts of Iowa today are adding to the abundant soil moisture in most of the state.
The USDA says says nearly 90-percent of the state has adequate-to-surplus top-soil moisture.
Kassel says some areas are reporting more than six-inches of rain during the past week.
“Part of Clay and Dickinson Counties that were really wet last spring, and never dried out, were wet in late June and early July, water standing and that sort of thing,” he says. “In fact, some areas like Winnebago County have had six-eight inches of rain in July, probably isn’t anyone complaining, but it’s probably a little bit wet in that area of the world.”
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor continues to show improvement for Iowa. It says only about 30-percent of the state is classified as abnormally dry or in moderate drought. That's down from 41-percent a week earlier.