Iowa Crops and Weather Report – July 13

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.  The report is released weekly from April through October.

“In general, much of the crop remains in good to excellent condition across the state.  Unfortunately, there are some wet spots and other crop damage from the wet weather seen in June,” Northey said.  “Just a reminder that now is a good time for farmers to evaluate and consider any addition conservation practices needed on their farm.  Funds are currently available for farmers interested using cover crops or other practices to protect water quality.”

The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.govor on USDA’s site at  The report summary follows here:


Reports of corn silking, soybeans setting pods, and oats being harvested for grain were received for the week ending July 12, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included cutting hay, cultivating and applying herbicides.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 20 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus. Reporters in north central and northwest Iowa expressed a need for additional precipitation.

Seventeen percent of the corn crop reached the silking stage, 2 days behind last year and 3 days behind the 5-year average. Eighty-two percent of the corn crop was rated good to excellent. Soybeans blooming or beyond reached 40 percent, with some reports of soybeans setting pods. Soybean condition rated 78 percent good to excellent this week. Nearly all of the State’s oats were headed or beyond. Oat acreage turning color reached 69 percent, with 13 percent of the oat crop harvested, 4 days ahead of last year, but 2 days behind normal. Eighty-two percent of the oat crop rated good to excellent.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 40 percent, 5 days ahead of last year, but 4 days behind average. Hay condition was rated at 71 percent good to excellent, while pasture condition rated 79 percent good to excellent. Livestock stress levels increased as temperatures and humidity climbed late in the week.

By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Unseasonably cool weather prevailed until the weekend when much warmer and more humid air returned to the state. Morning low temperatures dipped to 45 degrees at Spencer on Tuesday (7th) and Elkader on Wednesday (8th) while daytime highs only reached the low sixties over parts of southeast Iowa on Wednesday. High temperatures reached 91 degrees at Glenwood, Little Sioux, Shenandoah, and Sidney on Saturday (11th) and 94 degrees at Spencer and Sioux City on Sunday (12th). Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 4.3 degrees below normal. Rain fell statewide between Sunday (5th) night and Monday (6th) night with greatest amounts near five inches in Muscatine and Scott counties. Dry weather prevailed over most of the state until Saturday when showers and thunderstorms dampened the southern one-half to two-thirds of Iowa. Greatest rains with this second event fell over south central Iowa where three to five inch totals fell over parts of Union, Clarke, Wayne, and Appanoose counties. Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.04 inches at McGregor in northeast Iowa and at the opposite corner of the state with 0.05 inches at Randolph in Fremont County. Greatest rain totals included 5.53 inches at the Davenport Airport and 5.35 inches at Lake Rathbun Dam. The statewide average precipitation was 1.50 inches while normal for the week is 1.05 inches.