Iowa fields still well short on moisture despite some locally heavy rain

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Drought conditions persist

  Despite good rains at the end of June the first week of July hasn’t seen that much rain. According to the Iowa Crop Progress Report, spotty rains helped crops but farmers say more is needed – especially in the northern two-thirds of the state.

Topsoil moisture levels were rated 50% short to very short, with subsoil levels at 63% short to very short. State climatologist Justin Glisan says there is a shift to more active storm track – thunderstorm driven – which means it will be hit or miss across the fields.

“If we look at the first half of June it was the seventh warmest start on record and the driest start going back 149 years. So we really shifted at the end of June into a more moderate temperature and a more active storm track, with measurable days of rainfall across the state right when we needed it,” Glisan says.

  Looking at drought regions, Iowa still needs several months of rainfall to catch up on the deficits but the current rains are keeping soil moisture levels mostly the same. As the corn crops get into tasseling and pollination that’s when timely rainfalls and cooler temperatures will help out.  And Glisan says that’s the current prediction.

“Looking forward, we do see cooler temperatures and with a more active jetstream over the midwest we do expect a measurable rainfall over several days over the next 7-10 days,” Glisan says. Across the six days good for fieldwork the last week the crop report says farmers spent the time spraying post emergence herbicides and harvesting hay.

  There are scattered reports of corn silking with Iowa’s corn crop rated at 62% good or excellent. Thirty-nine% of beans are blooming,six days ahead of the five year average, with five percent setting pods -five days ahead of normal. Soybean conditions are rated 59% good to excellent..

A look at the markets

Well kind of a short week of course a little trade on Monday, but a volatile trade this week. Just mixed. Grains under pressure with soy markets higher. Of course last week was a big up week because of the grain stocks and acreage reports, this week the rain is taking precedence over that not everyone’s received it. Out in some of the driest areas in the northern plains have been sparse so far, but the attitude is still that we have moisture coming in. Seasonally boy you get past July 4th on corn, it’s especially pretty difficult to generate some strength there unless there’s some real problems out there, not that there isn’t some issues but just not widespread enough. Well you look at the August cattle, we’ve been stuck in this 121-124 range for the better part of a month, and not that we’ve completely given it up here but boy seem to be losing some luster here and I think we’re moving late into the season we’re not going to see a huge resurgence in the retail trade here so might have seen the better days of that market already. Hog markets enjoying a rally over the last couple of weeks. A technical rebound, now granted the hog and pig report here would be certainly not bearish but not really enough to sustain anything more than a technical bounce right now.

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