Iowa Crops and Weather Report – October 15

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.

“The cool wet weather kept farmers mostly out of the fields and as a result they were only able to harvest 2 percent of corn and 1 percent of soybean acres. Corn harvest is now 4 days behind average and soybean harvest is 11 days behind. With just 19 percent of soybeans harvested as of Oct. 14, farmers are having the slowest bean harvest on record,” Naig said. “With dryer weather in the forecast, farmers will be putting in long hours to bring in the crop as quickly as possible when conditions allow. We again encourage everyone working on the farm or traveling on our rural roads to take the time needed to be safe during what can be a very busy and stressful time.”

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:


Rain and early snow showers limited Iowa farmers to just 0.8 day suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 14, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included moving grain, monitoring field conditions and harvesting corn when weather permitted.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 40 percent adequate and 60 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 2 percent short, 49 percent adequate and 48 percent surplus.

Ninety-seven percent of the corn crop was mature, 5 days ahead of the five-year average. Seventeen percent of the State’s corn for grain crop has been harvested, 4 days ahead of last year but 4 days behind average. Across the State farmers were only able to harvest 2 percent of their corn for grain crop during the week. Farmers in southeast Iowa continue to lead the way with 41 percent of their corn for grain harvested. Moisture content of field corn being harvested was at 20 percent. Corn condition rated 69 percent good to excellent. Ninety-seven percent of the soybean crop was dropping leaves, 5 days ahead of average. Nineteen percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, 11 days behind the average. This is the smallest percentage of the soybean crop harvested by October 14 since records began. Soybean condition rated 65 percent good to excellent.

Pasture conditions rated 55 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions remain challenging after another week with significant precipitation left feedlots extremely muddy.



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

October’s second week brought up to four inches of above average precipitation to Iowa. Average temperatures were predominately cooler than expected; northwestern Iowa was 6 to 10 degrees below normal. Parts of western Iowa were near normal to warmer than average. The beginning of the reporting period was active with widespread showers and thunderstorms across Iowa on Monday (8th) as low pressure moved across the state. Knoxville (Marion County) reported a 24-hour accumulation of 4.25 inches. Over 40 stations reported rainfall above one inch. A strong cold front moved through Iowa on Tuesday (9th) with locally heavy rain. Average highs ranged from the upper 40s in the northwest to the upper 70s in the southeast. Over the two day period, severe thunderstorms produced 10 confirmed tornadoes, the strongest of which occurred Tuesday evening near Creston (Union County) with estimated winds up to 120 mph, causing structural damage. The cold front moved out of eastern Iowa early Wednesday (10th), leaving behind cloudy and unseasonably cool temperatures. Average highs varied from the 50s in the west and 60s to lower 70s ahead of the cold front. Dubuque (Dubuque County) reported 0.99 inches of rain. Light rain showers moved in on Friday (12th). Some locations in central Iowa reported snowflakes. Saturday (13th) was relatively dry with spotty showers late in the day in northwest Iowa. Sunday (14th) saw a mix of rain and snow with light accumulations on grass and elevated surfaces, especially in north-central Iowa. Weekend temperatures were below normal with highs in the upper 40s and lower 50s. Davenport (Scott County) observed the week’s high of 84 degrees on Monday, 18 degrees above normal. The week’s lowest temperature of 24 degrees was reported in Sanborn and Sheldon (O’Brien County) on the 14th, an average of 12 degrees below normal.