Iowa Crops and Weather Report – Aug. 27

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig 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 November.

“Farmers are chopping silage and we have started to see seed corn harvest getting underway as well,” Naig said. “Much of the state received significant rainfall last week, including parts of southern Iowa which have been in drought condition. Even with that recent rainfall, more than 90 percent of subsoil in south central and southeast Iowa is still rated as short or very short of moisture.”

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 farmers had 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 26, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included cutting hay, chopping corn silage, harvesting oats for grain, spraying for aphids, and moving grain.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 7 percent very short, 14 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 9 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 8 percent very short, 16 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus. In spite of recent rains, subsoil moisture levels in south central and southeast Iowa continue to remain critically low with greater than 90 percent rated short to very short.

Ninety-two percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage or beyond, 8 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn dented was at 63 percent, 9 days ahead of last year. Seven percent of the corn crop was mature, 9 days ahead of average. Seed corn harvest has begun. Corn condition rated 73 percent good to excellent. Ninety-six percent of the soybean crop was setting pods with 11 percent coloring, 4 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of the average. Soybean condition rated 70 percent good to excellent. Ninety-eight percent of the oat crop has been harvested for grain.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 75 percent complete, 4 days behind the previous year but 1 week ahead of the average. Pasture conditions improved slightly to 43 percent good to excellent. Although pastures in south central and southwest Iowa were able to refresh after receiving much needed precipitation, some producers have been forced to haul water to livestock.



By Dr. Justin Glisan, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Cooler conditions were observed statewide during the reporting period with average temperatures up to five degrees below normal in some locations. Much of Iowa also saw above average rainfall accumulations, generally ranging from one to three inches. A large low pressure system continued to spin over the state on Monday (20th), bringing heavy rainfall to northern and western Iowa. Over fifty stations reported precipitation totals above one inch; Fort Dodge (Webster County) recorded 3.95 inches. A weak tornado was also reported during the evening in Clinton County, damaging crops and trees. High pressure dominated on Tuesday (21st), bringing cooler conditions to Iowa. Average highs were well below normal, especially in western Iowa; Denison (Crawford County) observed a high of 65 degrees, almost 18 degrees below average. Cool and dry conditions continued into Wednesday (22nd) and over much of the state on Thursday (23rd), as the high pressure propagated across northern Missouri. Showers and thunderstorms moved into southwest Iowa Thursday morning, bringing measurable rainfall. Another complex of thunderstorms developed along the Iowa-Missouri border early Friday (24th) bringing much needed rain to southeastern Iowa. Multiple stations in Appanoose, Davis, and Wapello counties observed rainfall between one and two inches, with isolated totals nearing three inches. Severe storms also formed and moved rapidly through northern Iowa, with a few severe hail and high wind reports from Buffalo Center (Kossuth County) to Mason City (Cerro Gordo County). Leftover thundershowers moved out of eastern Iowa early Saturday (25th), leaving minor accumulations. On Sunday (26th) another round of thunderstorms fired along a warm front, with two severe wind reports that evening in north central Iowa. Weekend temperatures were up to four degrees warmer across much of Iowa, with Donnellson (Lee County) observing the week’s high temperature of 95 degrees.