Crop condition good despite varied rainfall

Insecticides applied to fight soybean aphids

By George C. Ford, The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS — Iowa’s corn and soybean crops are looking good despite wide variations of rainfall over the last week.

Some areas of Iowa had less than three days suitable for field work in the week that ended on Sunday, while others had more than six days, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Topsoil moisture levels were rated 3 percent very short, 23 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 3 percent very short, 19 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

Seventy-six percent of the state’s corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition. Over half of Iowa’s corn acreage was in the dough stage or beyond, more than two weeks ahead of 2013 and a week ahead of the five-year average.

Seven percent of the corn crop reached the dent stage, ahead of last year but 4 percentage points behind normal.

Seventy-five percent of Iowa’s soybean crop is in good to excellent condition.

Over three-quarters of the soybean acreage was setting pods or beyond, almost 30 percentage points above last year, but only 4 points above average.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay was 93 percent complete, just above last year but equal to the five-year average. The third cutting of alfalfa hay advanced to 22 percent complete, three days ahead of last year but just over a week behind normal.

Sixty-six percent of all hay was rated in good to excellent condition. Pasture condition decreased for the fourth week in a row and stands at 58 percent good to excellent.

The top price for hay Wednesday at Dyersville Sales was $180 per ton for large square bales.

At the Fort Atkinson Hay Market, small square straw bales topped the market at $205 per ton. Only a few quality loads were overshadowed by the utility and grinding type of hay that seemed to make up most of the sale on Wednesday.

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