ARTICLE

Most Iowa cropland still short of moisture

Last week's rains in east central Iowa much less than statewide average

Topsoil was moisture-deficient on more than half the state's farmland Monday, even after average statewide rainfalls of 1.5 inches last week.

The USDA said 14 percent of the state's cropland was very short of topsoil moisture and 40 percent was simply short of moisture. Only 1 percent of the cropland had surplus moisture. The remaining 45 percent had adequate moisture levels.

In East Central Iowa, the situation is even worse, with 22 percent of the crop acreage very short of moisture and 50 percent short of moisture.

The East Central district that includes Iowa City and Cedar Rapids received significantly less moisture than the statewide average. Rainfall at Cedar Rapids measured 0.34 inches, while rainfall was 1.05 inches in Iowa City and 1.03 inches in Lowden.

The heaviest rainfall in the state was 5.17 inches at Red Oak.

Corn started to silk last week across much of the state.

The condition of the crop Sunday was rated 16 percent excellent, 51 percent good, 25 percent fair, 6 percent poor and 2 percent very poor.

Soybeans had started to bloom. The condition of the soybean crop was rated 11 percent excellent, 50 percent good 28 percent fair, 9 percent poor and 2 percent very poor.

Less than half of the state's pasture land was rated in good or excellent condition for the second straight week. The USDA said 6 percent of the pasture was in very poor condition, while 16 percent was poor, 38 percent fair, 36 percent good and 4 percent excellent.Farmers had an average of 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared with 6.7 days the previous week.

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