Iowa Crops & Weather Report – November 12

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig 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 have now harvested 83 percent of corn and 94 percent of soybeans, which is 3 and 4 days behind average, respectively. It has been a long and challenging harvest season for Iowa farmers to harvest crops and complete other fall field work,” Naig said. “The deadline to seed cereal rye cover crops has been extended to Dec. 1 statewide, so there is still time for farmers to get cover crops planted and complete other conservation work this fall.”

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:


As temperatures dipped below normal across much of the State, Iowa farmers managed to find 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 11, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting corn and soybeans, baling stalks, applying anhydrous and manure, repairing tile, and fall tillage in areas where the ground was not too frozen.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 21 percent surplus.

Eighty-three percent of the State’s corn for grain crop has been harvested, 3 days behind the five-year average. Farmers in north central Iowa have harvested 91 percent of their corn for grain while farmers in the southwest have 36 percent of their corn for grain remaining to be harvested. Moisture content of field corn being harvested averaged 16 percent. Soybean harvest was 94 percent complete, 3 days behind last year and 4 days behind the average.

Feedlots and pastures remain excessively wet and frozen in some areas. Livestock were stressed by extremely cold weekend temperatures.


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

Iowa experienced an unseasonably cold week with the statewide average temperature almost 10 degrees below normal. Portions of northern and eastern Iowa observed wetter than normal conditions with southern Iowa generally drier than expected. The statewide average precipitation was 0.49 inches, just below the week’s normal of 0.51 inches. A low pressure system tracked northeast through Iowa on Monday (5th) bringing statewide measurable rainfall. Many stations across northern Iowa received accumulations between 0.25 and 0.50 inches; Fort Dodge (Webster County) reported a 24-hour measurement of 0.74 inches. Daytime highs were generally in the mid-40s with cloud cover keeping overnight lows in the upper 30s and 40s. Showers lingered across northeastern Iowa into Tuesday (7th); rainfall totals topped out at 0.10 inches. Wednesday was relatively quiet with cloudy skies and highs in the mid-30s. Measurable snow fell across portions of Iowa late Thursday (8th) into Friday (9th). Accumulations averaged between 1 to 2 inches; Donnellson (Lee County) observed 2.4 inches. High temperatures plunged into the upper teens in the northwest to upper 20s in the southeast. Dubuque (Dubuque County) observed a 28 degree high, breaking the record cold high of 32 degrees set in 1973. Overnight lows fell into the single digits, averaging 16 to 20 degrees below normal, breaking records in some locations; Lamoni (Decatur County) and Ottumwa (Wapello County) observed lows of nine degrees, breaking two 1926 records of 11 and 15 degrees, respectively. Saturday (10th) was chilly with highs in the mid to upper 20s. Overnight lows Sunday (11th) again fell into the single digits. Measurable precipitation was not reported over the weekend. Fort Madison (Davis County) observed the week’s high of 51 degrees on the 5th, 4.7 degrees below average. Estherville (Emmet County) reported the week’s low of two degrees on the 10th, 24 degrees below normal.