Apart from Southeastern Iowa, little to no precipitation allowed farmers 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the
week ending July 4, 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field activities included
spraying post emergence herbicides and harvesting hay.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 14% very short, 36% short, 48% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 18% very short, 45% short, 34% adequate and 3% surplus. Moisture levels vary widely as subsoil moisture levels in northwest Iowa rated 84% short to very short while levels in southeast Iowa rated 84% adequate to surplus.
Spotty rains benefitted crops but farmers reported more moisture is needed, especially in the northern two-thirds of the State. Across Iowa, there were scattered reports of corn silking. Iowa’s corn condition rated 62% good to excellent.
Thirty-nine percent of soybeans were blooming, 6 days ahead of the five-year average. Five percent of soybeans are setting pods, 5 days ahead of normal. Soybean condition was rated 59% good to excellent. Oats headed or beyond reached 94% with 50% turning color, 4 days ahead of normal. There were scattered reports of oats for grain being harvested. Iowa’s oat condition rated 55% good to excellent.
The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 30% complete, 1 day behind the 5-year average. Hay condition rated 54% good to excellent. Pasture condition was rated 39% good to excellent. Producers reported heat stressed livestock. Some producers had to start supplemental feeding.
The end of June and first week of July brought more seasonal temperatures across much of Iowa with warmer conditions reported over the Fourth of July weekend; the statewide average temperature was 74.0 degrees, 0.9 degree above normal.
While not as active as the previous reporting period, measurable rain fell at a majority of Iowa stations. Even with
measurable rainfall, most of the state reported negative precipitation departures from 0.50 inch to over 1.00 inch at northern Iowa stations.
In the Winnebago and Hancock county areas, weather has seen above average temperatures and about average precipitation. The average high temperature was 86 degrees. Compared to the normal high of 81.3 degrees, this meant that the area was 4.7 degrees higher than normal.
The average low was 64.2 degrees. Compared to the normal low of 61.3, the area low was 2.9 degrees higher than normal.
Precipitation is just .03 inches below normal as the total rainfall is for July is 1.05 inches and the normal received is 1.08 inches. For the month, the area is fairly close to where it needs to be, but for the year, the area is still well below normal.