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Iowa crop progress

Harvest advanced 20 percent or more in Iowa for alfalfa hay and oats for grain during the week ending July 27, with the state receiving little precipitation and leaving some farmers wishing for more rain, according to the July 28 Iowa Crop & Weather report.

"Crop conditions remain very good, with 78 percent of the corn crop and 74 percent of soybeans remaining in good to excellent condition with maturity at or ahead of the five-year average," said Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey. "The moderate temperatures forecast for this week will also help reduce stress on livestock."

State Meteorologist Harry Hillaker said temperature extremes were 51 degrees in Mason City and Elkader on the morning of July 24, while Sidney reported the first triple-digit heat of the year in Iowa at 102 degrees, with the heat index soaring to 117 in Shenandoah.

The report said 85 percent of corn was at or beyond the silking stage, and corn in the dough stage had reached 14 percent. Soybean progress advanced to 82 percent blooming or beyond, with 41 percent setting pods, the report added.

With 94 percent of oats turning color, the report stated the oat harvest for grain was 44 percent complete. The report also said the second cutting of alfalfa hay was 74 percent complete, with some farmers starting to cut their third crop during the week.

Paul Kassel, Iowa State University extension field agronomist, who covers 10 counties in northwestern Iowa, said soybean aphids have been found in the area. "However, they are at very low levels," he explained. "The weather forecasts have our weather as relatively cool for the next few days/weeks, so that may be ideal for aphid development."

By Doug Schmitz

Iowa Correspondent

8/6/2014