Iowa experienced drier-than-normal weather combined with cooler-than-average temperatures for most of the week ending Aug. 11, according to the Iowa Crop & Weather report.
“Much of the state received some precipitation, but few areas received significant rainfall and more is needed as the crop continues to mature,” said Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey. “Less than half of the corn and soybean crop is now in good to excellent condition.”
The report said 94 percent of corn has tasseled, with 85 percent silking and 42 percent reaching the milk stage, and 9 percent reaching the dough stage. The report also said 90 percent of soybeans was blooming, with pods set on 53 percent.
The report added the second cutting of alfalfa was 93 percent complete, with the third cutting at 17 percent compete, trailing the normal rate of 38 percent.
Mark Grundmeier, product manager for Latham Hi-Tech Seeds in Alexander, said the cool, damp weather has created “ideal conditions” for white mold or sclerotinia stem rot in soybeans, as well as “becoming evident now in many soybean fields across the Upper Midwest.”
To prevent white mold from spreading, Grundmeier advised farmers to “avoid harvesting disease-infested fields before harvesting healthy fields, and clean your combine thoroughly after a field with white mold is harvested. It’s important to clean the combine before moving to a field with no history of the disease.”
If white mold is restricted to a portion of the field, he said that restricted area should be harvested last and independently from the rest of the field. “If white mold is already present in a field, keep sclerotinia out of the upper layer of the soil, and prevent the sclerotinia from distributing over a wider area,” he added.
By Doug Schmitz