Iowa Crops and Weather Report – July 31

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.


“Much of the state remains very dry with farmers looking for a good soaking rain, especially as we enter August, a critically important time for soybeans,” 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:




Iowa remained mostly dry with scattered reports of rainfall during the week ending July 30, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included applying fungicides and insecticides, harvesting oats, and haying.


Topsoil moisture levels rated 22 percent very short, 31 percent short, 45 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. South central Iowa reported two-thirds of topsoil moisture as very short. According to the July 25, 2017 U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of south central Iowa were considered under severe drought conditions. Subsoil moisture levels fell to 19 percent very short, 31 percent short, 48 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.


Ninety-one percent of Iowa’s corn crop has reached the silking stage, 3 days behind last year but 5 days ahead of the five-year average. Nineteen percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage, 4 days behind last year and 2 days behind average. Corn condition declined to 2 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 52 percent good and 13 percent excellent. Soybeans blooming reached 85 percent, 4 days behind last year but 1 day ahead of average. Fifty-two percent of soybeans were setting pods, 2 days ahead of average. Soybean condition decreased slightly to 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 51 percent good and 9 percent excellent. Seventy-three percent of the oat crop for grain or seed was harvested, 1 day ahead of average.


The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 95 percent, 4 days ahead of last year and nearly two weeks ahead of average. The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 22 percent complete, 1 day ahead of average. Hay condition dropped to 54 percent good to excellent, while pasture condition was rated 37 percent good to excellent. Reduced temperatures improved livestock conditions; however, supplemental feeding of hay and rotation of pastures were reported due to lack of rain causing poor pasture conditions.




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


It was a mostly dry week across Iowa with seasonal temperatures. The week’s only rain came on Wednesday (26th) when showers and thunderstorms covered most of the state. The most widespread rains fell across about the western one-third of the state, plus far eastern portions of Iowa. No rain fell over portions of central and south central Iowa at such locations as Waterloo, Marshalltown, Grinnell and Fairfield. Mount Pleasant recorded the most rain with 2.20 inches while Denison and Schleswig in Crawford County both picked up 1.90 inches. The statewide average rain amount was 0.36 inches while normal for the week is 0.95 inches. Temperatures for the week averaged a degree or two above normal over the southwest portions of Iowa and a degree or two below normal across the northeast with a statewide average of 0.3 degrees below normal. Weekly temperature extremes varied from a Tuesday (25th) afternoon high of 97 degrees at Sioux City to lows of 51 degrees at Cresco on Saturday (29th) and Lowden on Sunday (30th). Preliminary data suggest a statewide average temperature for July of about 75.1 degrees or 1.5 degrees above normal while precipitation averaged 2.89 inches or 1.61 inches less than normal. This ranks as the 38th warmest and 41st driest July among 145 years of records. Only 2012 and 2013 brought less July rainfall to the state among the past 25 years. Preliminary monthly rain totals varied from 0.41 inches at Pocahontas to 13.88 inches at Guttenberg where this was the highest rain total for any month at that location among 86 years of records.