Iowa Crops and Weather Report – April 9

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig has 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 November.

“Another week of cold, wet weather prevented nearly all fieldwork and continued to challenge cow-calf producers. Just 4 percent of the oat crop has been planted, more than week behind last year and the five-year average. The weather forecast for the next couple of weeks looks mixed, so we are still likely a few weeks out from widespread spring fieldwork,” Naig 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:


 Another cold, wet week prevented fieldwork across most of Iowa with just 0.8 day suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 8, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Isolated reports of grain transport and fertilizer application were received.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 7 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 12 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus. South central and southeast Iowa moisture conditions continue to be dry with over one-third of topsoil considered short to very short and over one-half of subsoil short to very short.

Four percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, 8 days behind both last year and the 5-year average.

Livestock conditions continue to be mixed. Cold temperatures and snows have hampered early spring pasture growth and continue to present challenges for calving throughout much of the State.


By Michael Timlin, Regional Climatologist, Midwestern Regional Climate Center

Temperatures were well below normal across Iowa for the past week. Temperatures averaged 16 to 19 degrees below normal across the state. Minimum temperatures remained below freezing all week. The warmest temperatures were on the 5th when temperatures rose into the 60s in southwest and south central Iowa. Lamoni, Clarinda, and Shenandoah all reached 62 degrees that day. The coldest reading, minus 3 degrees, was at Waukon on the 7th. The cold temperatures kept soil temperatures down, with readings remaining in the low to mid 30s as of the 8th. Precipitation was also well below normal for much of the state. The southern two-thirds of the state had deficits greater than 0.40 inches for the 7-day period. Only northwestern Iowa had near-normal precipitation for the week. The totals were less than 50 percent of normal for much of the state, and less than 10 percent of normal in parts of west central and central Iowa. The highest precipitation total was 0.74 inches in Pocahontas and the lowest total was 0.00 inches at a handful of stations. Snow fell across the southern edge of the state on the 2nd and fell across the northern third of the state later in the week. The highest snow totals were just over 10 inches at a couple of Mason City stations.