Iowa Crops and Weather Report – September 17

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.

“A dry week of weather allowed farmers to get back into fields to make hay, chop silage and start harvest, with two percent corn and soybeans now harvested. With 53 percent of corn now mature and 50 percent of soybeans dropping leaves, we will likely see the harvest advance even more quickly as long 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:


Warm, dry weather gave Iowa farmers 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 16, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting hay, harvesting seed corn, chopping corn silage, harvesting corn for grain, harvesting soybeans and seeding cover crops.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 5 percent short, 84 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 7 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus. South central Iowa topsoil moisture supplies rated 75 percent adequate to surplus for the second consecutive week.

Ninety-four percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage or beyond, a week ahead of the 5-year average. Fifty-three percent of the corn crop was mature, just over a week ahead of average. Corn condition rated 73 percent good to excellent. Eighty-three percent of the soybean crop was coloring with 50 percent dropping leaves, 8 days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 72 percent good to excellent.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 94 percent complete, a week behind the previous year. Pasture conditions rated 50 percent good to excellent. Warm and dry conditions helped dry out feedlots.



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

After a very wet beginning to September, Iowa had unseasonably dry conditions with no National Weather Service stations observing measurable rainfall during the reporting period; the average expected weekly rainfall is 0.79 inches. Statewide temperatures were also warmer than normal, especially in northwestern Iowa. Average temperature departures were up to 11 degrees above normal. Monday (10th) was unseasonable cool with average highs ranging from the low to upper 70s, up to four degrees below average. New Hampton (Chickasaw County) observed a high of 70 degrees, five degrees below normal. Waukon (Allamakee County) observed the week’s low temperature of 41 degrees. A warming trend began Tuesday (11th) with temperatures rising into the upper 70s and lower 80s in Iowa’s northwestern two-thirds. Wednesday (12th) was unseasonably warm with highs in the low to mid-80s; Lowden (Cedar County) observed a high of 85 degrees, almost eight degrees above normal. High pressure continued to dominate Thursday (13th) into Friday (14th) allowing temperatures to remain above average. The weekend was very warm across Iowa with high temperatures well above average along with increasing humidity. On Saturday (15th) highs ranged from the mid-80s into the low 90s, up to 17 degrees warmer than normal. Sunday (16th) was the warmest day of the week with low to mid-90s across much of western Iowa and upper 80s over the remaining portions of the state. Clarinda (Page County) observed the week’s high temperature of 95 degrees, almost 19 degrees above average.