Higher than average temperatures, coupled with the lack of significant precipitation in most of the state, have heightened concerns over soil moisture and crop conditions.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday said northern portions of Iowa received some much-needed rain during the week that ended Sunday, but most of the southern portion of the state was dry. Rains of an inch or more fell in a narrow band from Plymouth County east to Clayton and Allamakee counties.
Le Mars reported the most rain with 2.75 inches.
A total of 28 percent of topsoil and 34 percent of subsoil was in the adequate and surplus moisture categories, declining 7 percent each from the previous week.
Topsoil moisture levels were rated 35 percent very short, 37 percent short, 28 percent adequate and zero percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 26 percent very short, 40 percent short, 33 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.
With 95 percent of topsoil in the very short and short categories, the southeast district was the driest in the state.
Corn conditions declined from the previous week, and was rated at 6 percent very poor, 15 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 37 percent good and 7 percent excellent. Soybean condition declined slightly from the week before and was rated 6 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 37 percent good and 8 percent excellent.
The warm and mostly dry conditions allowed harvest of third cutting alfalfa hay to reach 61 percent complete, matching the normal pace, but still well behind last year’s 95 percent. Hay and pasture conditions continued to deteriorate.
Hay condition was rated at 8 percent very poor, 17 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 36 percent good and 5 percent excellent. Pasture condition was rated 15 percent very poor, 26 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 20 percent good and 2 percent excellent.
No rain fell over much of southern Iowa last week. The last measurable rain (0.01 inch or more) at Burlington, Mount Pleasant and Keokuk came on July 30.
The statewide average precipitation for the week was 0.34 inches, while normal is 0.98 inches.