Iowa Crops and Weather Report – August 14

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.


“As the dry weather continues we see the portion of Iowa in drought continuing to expand and crop conditions deteriorate.  Unfortunately, 40 percent of the state, including portions of 23 counties, is now in severe drought,” 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:




All of Iowa experienced cooler than normal temperatures with very little precipitation scattered across the state during the week ending August 13, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included applying fungicides and insecticides, hauling grain, and haying.


Topsoil moisture levels fell to 30 percent very short, 33 percent short, 37 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. According to the August 8, 2017 U.S. Drought Monitor, Iowa’s region of drought expanded to 40 percent of the state including portions of 23 counties in severe drought. Subsoil moisture levels rated 25 percent very short, 33 percent short, 42 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. That is the highest percentage of very short subsoil moisture supplies since the first week of November 2013.


Sixty-two percent of the corn crop was in or beyond the dough stage, 6 days behind last year. Eight percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage, one week behind average. Corn condition declined to 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 52 percent good and 9 percent excellent. Soybeans blooming reached 94 percent, 5 days behind last year and 4 days behind average. Eighty-two percent of soybeans were setting pods, 3 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 4 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 49 percent good and 7 percent excellent. Ninety-five percent of the oat crop for grain or seed has been harvested, equal to average.


The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 65 percent complete, 8 days ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of average. Pasture condition was reported as 45 percent poor to very poor, the highest percentage reported in those categories since the beginning of April 2014. Cooler temperatures improved livestock conditions, but supplemental feeding has been required and ponds are drying up in some areas.




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


It was a cool and mostly dry week across Iowa. Temperatures were below normal throughout the week excepting portions of southern Iowa on Thursday (10th) when Donnellson reached 93 degrees. Lowest temperatures were reported on Tuesday (8th) morning when readings fell as low as 45 degrees at Chariton and Grinnell. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 4.6 degrees below normal. There were no widespread rain events during the week. Showers and thunderstorms brought light to moderate rain to far northwest/northern Iowa (roughly north of a Sioux City to Charles City line) on Wednesday with a maximum reported rain amount of 1.04 inches just northwest of Spencer. Thunderstorms were also scattered across the southeast one-half of Iowa on Thursday (10th) with a maximum reported rain amount of 1.30 inches just west of Seymour in Wayne County. There were just a few very isolated showers on Sunday night (6th), Monday (7th) and Sunday morning (13th). Tuesday (8th), Friday (11th) and Saturday (12th) were dry statewide. Much of the southeast two-thirds of the state recorded no rain during the week. The statewide average rainfall amount was only 0.19 inches while normal for the week is 0.97 inches. A large area of rain fell Monday (14th) morning across portions of north central and central Iowa but occurred too late to be reflected in this week’s crop condition and soil moisture statistics.