Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

July 9, 2013

USDA: Dry weather helped farmers last week


OTTUMWA — Last week's consistently dry and warm weather was generally good news for farmers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Fully 58 percent of Iowa's corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition. That's nearly matched by soybeans, where 56 percent of the crop falls into those categories.

While corn and soybeans have lagged behind the average for planting due to this spring's unusually wet weather, alfalfa has seen less of an impact. The first cutting is 97 percent complete, a percentage point ahead of normal, and some farmers are already bringing in a second cutting. That second cutting is behind the five-year average.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker reported last week was the driest in Iowa since early April and well below normal for rainfall. That's not an immediate concern, since soil moisture has largely been recharged after last years drought, but it could become something to watch if dry conditions persist.