September 27, 2023

By Jared Strong

Some areas of Iowa had considerable rainfall last week, but overall soil moisture diminished because much of central and north-central Iowa had little or no precipitation, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The department’s weekly report on Monday said 61% of the state’s corn crop is rated good or excellent, which is unchanged from last week. Soybeans are rated 52% good or excellent, down 1 percentage point from last week.

Much of the crops are in reproductive development stages that require the most water.

The statewide average rainfall last week was 0.64 inches, a little more than half of what is normally expected. Rainfall totals ranged from zero in north-central Iowa to about 3 inches in southeast Iowa.

About 43% of the state’s farm fields has adequate or surplus topsoil moisture for crops, a slight decline from a week ago, according to USDA. About 36% of subsoil has adequate or better moisture, down about 3 percentage points.

Silk is protruding from the developing ears of corn in about 22% of the state’s crop, which is two days ahead of the five-year average. Soybeans are about three days ahead of average, with 46% of the crop blooming.

Livestock pastures are still struggling from widespread drought conditions. About 24% of pastures are rated good or excellent.

“Livestock producers continued to supplement with hay as pasture conditions remained below average,” USDA said.

Iowa Capital Dispatch is part of the States Newsroom, a network of similar news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity.

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