Iowa Crops and Weather Report – October 24

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.


“The dry weather this past week allowed farmers to make very good progress and harvest is now 52 percent complete for corn and 77 percent for beans,” Northey said.  “It is also great to see an increasing number of fields turn green as we have seen good conditions for cover crop growth this fall.”


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



Although there were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork Statewide during the week ending October 23, 2016, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, corn for grain and soybean harvest progress remains behind both the previous year and the five-year average.  Besides harvest, other activities included chopping and baling corn stalks, tillage, and manure applications.


Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 84 percent adequate and 9 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 82 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus.


Fifty-two percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, 4 days behind the five-year average.  Moisture content of all corn being harvested was at 17 percent, down 1 percentage point from the previous week.  Corn condition rated 83 percent good to excellent.  Southeast Iowa is the only area of the State with over two-thirds of the corn for grain crop harvested.  Seventy-seven percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, more than one week behind last year, and 6 days behind normal.  Farmers in southwest and south central Iowa still have over one-half of their soybean crop to harvest.


Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 12 percent none, 25 percent light, 37 percent moderate and 26 percent heavy. Off-farm grain storage availability rated 20 percent short, 75 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. On-farm grain storage availability rated 26 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.


Pasture condition rated 61 percent good to excellent.  Livestock conditions were described as excellent, with reports of some cattle being turned out to graze corn stalks.





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


It was a very dry week across Iowa with much of the state recording no measurable rainfall.   Very light rain fell across parts of extreme northern Iowa from Monday (17th) into Tuesday (18th) morning.   Light rain was also scattered over portions of southern and western Iowa between Wednesday (19th) afternoon and Thursday (20th) morning.   The maximum rainfall reported was 0.29 inches at the Hitchcock Nature Center in Pottawattamie County.   The statewide average rainfall was just 0.01 inch while normal for the week is 0.56 inches.   Most of the reporting week was unseasonably warm.   The warmest day in most areas was Monday (17th) when highs exceeded 80 degrees over the southeast two-thirds of the state and several locations set new daily record highs.   A brief period of cold prevailed on Thursday (19th) and Friday (20th) with a freeze over the northeast one-half or so of Iowa on Friday morning.   Warmer weather returned over the weekend with daytime highs in the mid-sixties to mid-seventies.   Temperature extremes for the week ranged from a Monday (17th) afternoon high of 91 degrees at Burlington to Friday (21st) morning lows of 25 degrees at Spencer and Webster City.   Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 5.9 degrees above normal.   Soil temperatures at the four inch depth were averaging in the low fifties north to upper fifties south as of Sunday (23rd).