A third consecutive week of above-average rainfall across the state limited farmers’ fieldwork and put added stress on crops, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Iowa Crop Progress & Condition report for the week.
There were just 2.6 days suitable for fieldwork statewide between June 30 and July 6, the third straight week with less than three days for farmers to be in their fields. That number reached as low as 1.4 days in central Iowa. Wet conditions prevented equipment from getting into fields, setting back weed control and slowing alfalfa hay baling.
The rain has also put some crops behind schedule, with oats turning color and soybeans blooming ahead of last year but at below average rates.
Fortunately, most Iowa fields have remained stable, with 76% of corn and 73% of soybean crops listed in good to excellent condition. Warm and dry weather will be needed to get crops back on schedule, yet more precipitation in the forecast may present continued challenges to Iowa farmers.