homepage logo


Emmet County crops have great potential

By Staff | Jul 8, 2010

With weekly crop report

Even though it rained most of the month of June, Emmet County never received the heavy 3-to-5-inch deluge neighboring areas did.

According to county Farm Service Agency Directory Larry Niles, that means the local crops are as good as any around.

“Normally we get 18 to 20 inches of rain during the growing season and June is one of the bigger months,” Niles said.

While not necessarily indicative of what the rest of the county received, Estherville Airport readings recorded 2.79 inches of rain in April, 1.91 inches in May and 8.16 inches in June.

“Yes there was some ponding of water that will affect some producers, but we missed a lot of the huge rains,” Niles said.

Wednesday’s rain notwithstanding, recent drier weather has allowed much of the standing water to dissipate.

“If things continue with a couple of inches of rain in late July and three or four inches in August, this has the potential to be a very good crop (in Emmet County),” Niles said.

He said the corn is currently looking better than the beans, but the recent warm days have helped them.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.

“The warm dry weather last week was very welcome as it allowed fields to start drying out and some fieldwork to take place, but unfortunately it was too late for some farmers who have had crops drowned out,” Northey said. “The additional rain over the past weekend has made additional flooding a real threat, especially in southern Iowa, which has been hardest hit by the extremely wet weather this June.”

The full report is as follows:

Agricultural Summary: The final days of June created flooding concerns as heavy rains in the north pushed rivers near levels witnessed in 2008. While most areas escaped flooding, flash floods in West Central Iowa completely destroyed some crops and Southeast Iowa reported the Des Moines River overflowing its banks and damaging crops. After rain over the weekend of June 26-27, Iowa finally received a break from the consistent rain showers. Cropland was able to dry and crops grew rapidly in the hot and humid weather. The dry week allowed farmers to catch up with much needed field work. Operators concentrated on applying herbicides to soybean fields highly populated with weeds. Along with spraying, many producers finished up harvesting their first cutting of alfalfa, while others were completing second cuttings.

Dry days last week helped field conditions but many areas still suffering the negative effects of excess moisture. In low-lying fields where ponding occurred, corn and soybeans have been stunted or completely drowned out. Many places where crops were killed have already been re-planted; however sections that are still too wet may not be able to be re-planted. Aside from ponded areas, corn and soybeans are mostly in good condition as corn is beginning to tassel and soybeans are blooming. Oats are also rated in mostly good condition and are continuing to turn color as they approach maturity.

There were 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared with 2.0 days the previous week and the highest number of days suitable since the week ending May 30. Northwest Iowa was the only district reporting less than four days suitable, with 3.4 days. Topsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 53 percent adequate, and 46 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 50 percent adequate, and 50 percent surplus.

Field Crops Report: Early planted corn reached 8 percent tasseled and has just begun to silk. Corn is rated 4 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 47 percent good, and 18 percent excellent. Twenty-seven percent of the soybean crop has begun blooming, compared to 20 percent last year and 25 percent for the five-year average. Areas in the southern third of Iowa have yet to be planted, thus emergence is behind normal as well. Soybean condition rated 4 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 15 percent excellent. Nearly all the oat acreage has headed, and 52 percent has turned color, ahead of last year’s 29 percent and the five-year average of 41 percent. Oat condition rated 2 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 58 percent good, and 15 percent excellent. Ninety-three percent of the first cutting of alfalfa hay has been harvested, ahead of last year’s 91 percent, but behind the five-year average of 96 percent. With just 7 percent of the first cutting still to be harvested, 34 percent of the second cutting has been completed, ahead of both last year and the five-year average. All hay condition rated 3 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 12 percent excellent.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 20 percent excellent. Pastures continue to be in good to excellent condition. Cattle are beginning to become stressed as temperatures remain high.