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BREAKING NEWS

Emmet County crops could use a shot of rain

By Staff | Aug 12, 2008

by David Swartz – Managing Editor

While crops in Northwest Iowa still are among the best in the state, a good dose of rain would help the development of both soybeans and corn as the end of 2008 growing season.

“We can use a good shot of rain. Soybeans are usually made in August,” said Emmet County Farm Service Agency director Larry Niles. “The pods are blooming and they’ve had good growth. If we get the 3 to 3/12 inches we normally receive in August, we’re in line for an average crop.”

Current forecasts indicate a chance of precipitation much of the next week, but never more than a 50 percent chance.

Niles said Northwest Iowa is still in the best shape of any in the state.

“We didn’t have a lot of ponding except a little in the Ringsted and Armstrong areas (this season),” he said.

Meanwhile Niles said it’s not as critical for the corn crop to receive rain.

“The root system is well developed,” he said. “however, a good rain would help the kernels develop.

From Des Moines, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented on the Iowa crops and weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.

“Recent weather has been beneficial for crop development and has helped farmers with pasture and those who have been making haying,” Northey said. “We have seen a few storms with damaging winds and hail, but thankfully those have been scattered. There are some reports of soybean aphids, but weather has allowed farmers to get in to spray. Full crop maturity will still require a later than normal frost.”

Oat and hay harvest advance

Agricultural Summary: Drier weather allowed farmers to harvest oats and alfalfa. Spraying for aphids in soybeans remained in full swing in many parts of the state. In addition, fungicide applications increased on field crops this week.

There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork, compared to 4.6 days last year at this time. Topsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 12 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 9 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 14 percent surplus.

Field Crops Report: Corn tasseled is 96 percent, behind the five-year average of 100 percent. Corn silked is 87 percent, which is 13 days behind last year and 11 days behind the five-year average. Corn in the milk stage is 45 percent, 12 days behind last year and 9 days behind the five-year average. Corn in the dough stage is 10 percent, which is 35 percentage points behind last year and 28 percentage points behind the five-year average. Corn condition rated 2 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 17 percent excellent.

Eighty-nine percent of soybeans are blooming, two weeks behind the five-year average. Soybeans setting pods rated 67 percent, 10 days behind last year and 8 days behind the five-year average. Soybean condition rated 2 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 48 percent good, and 17 percent excellent.

Oats harvested for grain is 77 percent complete, 21 percentage points behind the five-year average. Oats condition rated 2 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 48 percent good, and 11 percent excellent.

Second cutting of alfalfa is 86 percent complete, 12 percentage points behind the five-year average. Third cutting of alfalfa is 13 percent complete, 11 days behind last year and 8 days behind the five-year average. All hay condition rated 2 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 14 percent excellent.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 14 percent excellent.