USDA survey shows Iowa cropland getting drier

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

August 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A U.S. Department of Agriculture weekly survey shows Iowa’s cropland is getting drier as most of the state sees little rainfall. The agency says 41 percent of topsoil had adequate or surplus moisture, down 8 percentage points from the previous week. An estimated 54 percent of subsoil was in the adequate to surplus range.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey notes that cooler weather was putting less stress on crops, but the lower temperatures have caused plants to develop more slowly. That comes amid a season in which crops already were far behind five-year averages.

The USDA found that corn conditions worsened slightly, with 5 percent rated very poor, 12 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 41 percent good and 10 percent excellent.