Iowa Crops and Weather Report – September 10

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.

“Another week of wet weather kept farmers from the fields and caused significant flooding in parts of the state. Corn and soybeans continue to move towards maturity and there is likely to be harvest activity starting over the next few weeks as conditions allow,” 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:


With another week of widespread rainfall, Iowa farmers had just 2.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 9, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting seed corn, chopping corn silage and moving grain.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 3 percent short, 65 percent adequate and 31 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 7 percent short, 67 percent adequate and 24 percent surplus. Drought concerns in south central and southeast Iowa were eased after recent storms lifted adequate to surplus topsoil moisture ratings to 75 percent or greater.

Ninety-eight percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage or beyond with 87 percent dented or beyond, a week ahead of the 5-year average. Twenty-eight percent of the corn crop was mature, also one week ahead of average. Corn condition rated 73 percent good to excellent. Fifty-eight percent of the soybean crop was coloring with 17 percent dropping leaves, 5 days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 72 percent good to excellent. In spite of limited days suitable for fieldwork, there were a few reports of both corn for grain and soybeans being harvested.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 83 percent complete, more than a week behind the previous year as weather conditions continued to slow progress. Pasture conditions improved to 50 percent good to excellent. Heavy rains made feedlot conditions challenging for cattle producers.



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

The first full week of September had above average precipitation statewide. Temperatures were near to slightly above average, especially in eastern Iowa. Multiple waves of showers and thunderstorms moved across Iowa Monday (3rd) through Wednesday (5th), bringing locally heavy rain and isolated severe weather. On Labor Day, most of Iowa’s southeastern two-thirds reported rainfall. During the evening hours, two counties in eastern Iowa had tornadic activity; in Linn County, two EF-1 tornadoes with winds between 100 and 110 mph were reported near Cedar Rapids. Minor structural damage, uprooted trees, and blown over crops were observed. Vinton (Benton County) also reported two EF-0 tornadoes with winds in excess of 80 mph. On Tuesday (4th) many parts of northwestern Iowa that missed out on Monday’s rain received above normal accumulations. Some thunderstorms were severe, with Algona (Kossuth County) reporting 4.02 inches of rain (3.92 inches above average) and structural damage from a brief tornado touchdown. A cold front moved through on Wednesday bringing widespread measurable rainfall into Thursday (6th). Flash flood warnings were issued as slow-moving storms lingered over central and eastern Iowa. Two-day rainfall totals averaged above one inch across 75 counties; Montezuma (Poweshiek County) reported 5.20 inches. Thursday was cooler than average statewide with highs in the low to mid-70s. The southeastern quadrant observed measurable rainfall; Ottumwa (Wapello County) reported 0.42 inches. Rain showers moved into Iowa’s southern third early Friday (7th) and lingered into Saturday (8th) as the remains of Tropical Depression Gordon moved through Missouri. Rainfall totals were generally under an inch with Bloomfield (Davis County) reporting 1.10 inches. The rest of the weekend saw pleasant conditions across Iowa. Temperatures were unseasonably cool with highs ranging from the mid-60s to mid-70s. Sunday (9th) was the nicest day of the week, with generally sunny skies and dry conditions.