Iowa Crops and Weather Report – May 8

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


“After a wet start to the week, warmer and dryer weather allowed farmer to get in the fields and now just over half of the corn acres have been planted.  The rain showers that rolled across parts of western and central Iowa today will slow farmers in those areas, but hopefully the return of warm dry weather will allow them back in the fields soon.  If the good weather holds we will continue to see significant progress on both corn and soybean planting the next several days,” Northey said.


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:




Drier conditions as the week progressed allowed farmers to plant corn and soybeans during the week ending May 7, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 3.4 days suitable for fieldwork. However, below normal temperatures have slowed the emergence of crops.


Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 82 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus. Southwest and South Central Districts reported 25 percent or more surplus subsoil moisture.


Almost one-quarter of the State’s expected corn acreage was planted during the week ending May 7, 2017. Fifty-two percent of the corn crop has been planted, remaining over a week behind last year, and slightly behind the 5-year average. Northeast Iowa has the smallest percentage of corn planted at 35 percent, while central Iowa has the most planted at 65 percent. Seven percent of the corn has emerged, 6 days behind last year, and 4 days behind average. Nine percent of the soybean acreage has been planted, 6 days behind last year, and 2 days behind average. Planting of the State’s oat crop is nearing completion. Oats emerged reached 61 percent, over a week behind last year, but just 2 days behind average. The season’s first oat condition rating came in at 0 percent very poor, 1 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 62 percent good and 14 percent excellent.


The first hay condition of the season rating was 0 percent very poor, 1 percent poor, 17 percent fair, 67 percent good and 15 percent excellent. Pasture condition rated 79 percent good to excellent, an increase of 3 percentage points from the previous week. Livestock conditions were reported as normal, and feedlot conditions improved from the previous week.




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


The past reporting week began with statewide rainfall on Sunday (30th) with lighter precipitation continuing into Monday (1st). The rain turned to snow in far northwest Iowa Sunday night and Monday morning where a brief two inch accumulation was reported at Lester (Lyon County). A very welcome drier period prevailed for the remainder of the week with the exception of some scattered thunderstorms over the northwest one-quarter of the state on Wednesday (3rd) and some very light rain in the Dubuque and Clinton areas on Friday (5th) night. Weekly precipitation totals varied from 0.34 inches at Park View (Scott County) to 1.95 inches at Remsen (Plymouth County). The statewide average precipitation was 0.99 inches or nearly the same as the weekly normal of 0.98 inches. Daytime high temperatures were only in the forties statewide on Sunday (30th) and finally climbed above normal in western Iowa on Friday and almost to normal over far eastern Iowa by Sunday (7th). A freeze was recorded over parts of northeastern Iowa on Wednesday (3rd) morning with a lowest reported temperature of 28 degrees near Elkader. A light freeze was also reported over low-lying areas of central and eastern Iowa on Thursday (4th) morning with a lowest reported temperature of 29 degrees near Chariton. On the other extreme temperatures climbed into the eighties over about the west one-third of the state on Sunday (7th) afternoon with a maximum of 85 degrees at Little Sioux. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from one to two degrees below normal over the far west to about six degrees subnormal over the east with a statewide average of 3.6 degrees below normal.