Iowa rainfall helps crops, but USDA lowers corn, soybean output

Drought conditions reappear in the region

George Ford
Published: August 12 2013 | 3:18 pm - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 6:59 pm in
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Although significant rainfall was not widespread in Iowa during the week that ended on Sunday, enough moisture was received to be beneficial in some areas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Overall, the agency on Monday lowered its estimate of this year's corn and soybean crops due to the cool, dry weather that has affected crop development. The USDA also reduced the estimated yields for both crops from the estimates it provided last month.

After a chilly, wet spring delayed corn planting, farmers in the western part of the Corn Belt have experienced a dry summer that has caused

Last week's USDA Drought Monitar map showed moderate drought returning in southwest Iowa, with most the remaining portion of the state rated as abnormally dry.

According to the USDA's latest figures, a total of 41 percent of topsoil in the state was in the adequate and surplus moisture categories, unchanged from the previous week. Topsoil moisture levels were rated 24 percent very short, 35 percent short, 40 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

Forty-seven percent of subsoil was in the adequate and surplus categories, down 7 percentage points from last week. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 14 percent very short, 39 percent short, 46 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

Corn condition declined slightly from the previous week, and was rated at 5 percent very poor, 12 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 39 percent good and 10 percent excellent.

Ninety-four percent of the corn crop has tasseled, trailing the five-year average of 99 percent. Eighty-five percent of the corn crop was silking, 10 percentage points behind normal.

Ninety percent of the soybean crop was blooming, behind the five-year average of 96 percent. Pods were being set on 53 percent of the soybean crop, well behind last year’s 86 percent and the normal 80 percent.

Soybean condition declined slightly from last week and was rated 4 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 39 percent good and 9 percent excellent.

The USDA on Monday forecast corn production of 13.76 billion bushels, down from 13.95 billion bushels forecast in July. The first survey-based corn yield forecast was reduced to 154.4 bushels per acre from $156.5 bushels per acre in July.

The USDA also reduced its soybean forecast to 3.255 million bushels, down from a prior estimate of 3.42 billion. The agency lowered the projected soybean yield to 42.6 bushels an acre from 44.5 bushels per acre in July.

The projected season-average farm price for corn was raised 10 cents at both ends of the range to $4.50 to $5.30 per bushel.

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