Crop Conditions Fall Significantly As Soil Moisture Falls
By Dave DeWitte, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Triple digit temperatures combined with a lack of precipitation across much of Iowa last week to weaken the condition of crops.
Temperatures averaged 9.3 degrees above normal for the week ended Sunday. Precipitation for the week averaged only 0.02 inches, the driest week in 21 weeks.
The USDA reported Monday that crop conditions declined "significantly" last week due to the temperatures and lack of moisture, with a growing threat from rising insect populations.
Topsoil moistures declined again last week, the USDA reported, with 48 percent of crop acreage rated "very short" and 40 percent labeled "short."
Only 12 percent of the crop acreage was rated "adequate" in soil moisture.
Subsoil moisture conditions were only slightly better, with 18 percent of crop acreage rated adequate, 38 percent very short and 44 percent short.
The condition of the state's corn crop was rated 5 percent very poor, 13 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 40 percent good and 6 percent excellent.
Sixty-two percent of the corn crop had tasseled, well ahead of the five-year average of 16 percent. Fourty-eight percent of the corn had silked, nearly two weeks ahead of normal.
The condition of the soybean crop was rated 4 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 42 percent good and 6 percent excellent.
Topsoil moisture conditions in northeast and east central Iowa were even worse than the statewide average, with 55 percent of acres rated very short of moisture. Only 8 percent of the acres in northeast Iowa and 7 percent of the acres in East Central Iowa had adequate topsoil moisture.
In Cedar Rapids, precipitation is running 5.86 inches below normal since April 1, the USDA reported. Iowa City area precipitation is running 3.79 inches behind over the same period.
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