Iowa Crops and Weather Report – October 29

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.

“We are now 49 percent of corn and 71 percent of beans harvested, which puts corn 3 days behind and soybeans 7 days behind the five-year average. The good weather allowed 20 percent of corn and 34 percent of soybeans to be harvested last week,” Naig said. “We need another couple good weeks to allow farmers to continue to try and catch up after a very challenging start to harvest.”

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and Decision Innovation Solutions have analyzed Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Reports going back to 1990 looking at the largest week of corn and soybean harvest each year. Additional information about their analysis can be found here.

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 a good week for harvesting with 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 28, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Taking advantage of the dry conditions, activities for the week included harvesting corn and soybeans, baling stalks, anhydrous and manure application, fall tillage, and planting cover crops.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 21 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus.

Forty-nine percent of the State’s corn for grain crop has been harvested, 3 days ahead of last year but 3 days behind the five-year average. Farmers in southeast Iowa have harvested 65 percent of their corn for grain while farmers in the northeast and southwest are yet to cross the 40 percent mark on their corn for grain harvest. Moisture content of field corn being harvested averaged 18 percent. Corn condition rated 69 percent good to excellent. Soybean harvest was 71 percent complete, a week behind the average. This is the smallest percentage of the soybean crop harvested by October 28 since 2009.

Pasture conditions rated 52 percent good to excellent. Feedlots are drying to more favorable condition.


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

Unseasonably cool and dry conditions continued across Iowa during October’s last full week. Temperatures were generally near normal in western Iowa and up to four degrees cooler than normal in eastern Iowa. Statewide precipitation deficits were largest in southeastern Iowa. Average rainfall was around 0.12 inch; the normal for the week is 0.56 inch. A warm Monday (22nd) began the week with highs averaging between the mid-60 and lower 70s. A cold front dropped through Iowa on Tuesday (23rd) bringing cooler temperatures and pleasant conditions. Highs were generally in the 50s with overnight lows dropping into the upper 20s and lower 30s. Spotty rain showers moved into extreme western Iowa late Wednesday (24th) with measurable rainfall between 0.10 and 0.25 inch. Light rain lingered into Thursday (25 th) with highest two-day totals confined to Iowa’s western third ranging between 0.05 and 0.50 inch. Friday (26th) into Saturday (27th) was generally dry, though a weak warm front ahead of a surface low over Minnesota produced isolated showers in eastern Iowa. Highs were in the upper 60s with cloud cover keeping temperatures cooler in the northeast. As the low propagated east, a cold front moved through early Sunday (28th) bringing light rainfall to the northeastern two-thirds of Iowa. Behind the front clear to mostly sunny conditions prevailed with very gusty winds across Iowa’s eastern half. Under clear skies, overnight lows dropped into the upper 20s. The week’s high temperature of 73 degrees was reported in De Soto (Harrison County) on the 26 th , around 13 degrees above average. Elkader (Clayton County) and Stanley (Buchannan County) observed the week’s overnight low temperature of 19 degrees on the 22 nd , 16 degrees below normal. The highest weekly total rainfall accumulation of 0.62 inch was observed in Shenandoah (Page County).