Iowa Crops and Weather Report – September 18

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.


“There are a handful of fields across the state that have been combined, but we are likely a week or two away from widespread harvest.  We are seeing corn being chopped for silage and seed corn harvest taking place across the state,” 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:




It was mostly dry in Iowa with above normal temperatures for the week ending September 17, 2017, according to USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork. With increased heat and little moisture, crops matured rapidly in the past week. Activities for the week included seeding cover crops, spreading manure, harvesting seed corn, chopping corn silage, and hauling grain.


Topsoil moisture levels rated 21 percent very short, 30 percent short, 49 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. According to the September 12, 2017 U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of south central and southeast Iowa remain in extreme drought status. Subsoil moisture levels rated 20 percent very short, 34 percent short, 46 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus.


Eighty-eight percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage or beyond, eight days behind last year and three days behind the 5-year average. Thirty percent of corn had reached maturity, six days behind last year and average. Reports were received from throughout the state that corn harvest for grain has begun. Corn condition declined slightly to 59 percent good to excellent. Seventy-four percent soybeans were turning color or beyond, two days behind last year but one day ahead of average. Thirty-one percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, one day behind average. Scattered soybean fields across most of the state have been harvested. Soybean condition dropped to 58 percent good to excellent.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay is nearly complete at 96 percent. Pasture conditions worsened over the past week with 47 percent poor to very poor. Livestock conditions remain good, although there were scattered reports of flies and pink eye being an issue.




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


It was a warm week across Iowa with temperatures averaging from one degree above normal southeast to 6 to 8 degrees above normal over the north and west. It was very dry through the workweek with widespread rain finally arriving over the weekend. Nearly all of the week’s rain fell between Friday (15th) morning and Sunday (17th) morning. Rain totals varied from none over most of Scott and Clinton counties to 3.97 inches at Manning in Carroll County. The statewide average precipitation amount was 0.68 inches while normal for the week is 0.79 inches. Rains of one-half inch or better were widespread over most of the west two-thirds of Iowa. Temperature extremes varied from a 39 degree low at Lowden in Cedar County on Monday (11th) morning to highs of 94 degrees at Des Moines and Perry on Friday (15th).