Iowa Crops & Weather Report – November 19

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.

“Slow but steady harvest progress continues as farmers deal with challenging conditions to bring in their crops including rain, snow and freezing temperatures. Farmers have been able to harvest 91 percent of corn and 97 percent of soybeans, both of which are four days behind average,” 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: 


Iowa farmers had a rather cold 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 18, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting corn and soybeans, baling stalks, applying anhydrous and manure, moving grain, 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, 81 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 20 percent surplus.

Ninety-one percent of the State’s corn for grain crop has been harvested, 4 days behind the five-year average. Farmers in northwest and north central Iowa have harvested 96 percent of their corn for grain while farmers in the southwest have 22 percent of their corn for grain remaining to be harvested. Moisture content of field corn being harvested averaged 16 percent. Soybean harvest was 97 percent complete, 5 days behind last year and 4 days behind the average.

Feedlots and pastures have begun freezing with some areas reporting frost down to 3 inches. The adjustment to extremely cold temperatures and snow-covered pastures caused livestock some minor stress.


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

Iowa experienced an unseasonably cold and dry week during the reporting period. Average temperatures were coldest in eastern Iowa, up to 12 degrees below normal. The state experienced both rain and snow, though some locations in western Iowa reported no measurable accumulations; statewide average precipitation was 0.17 inches, well below the weekly normal of 0.49 inches. Light accumulating snow was reported in Keokuk (Lee County) on Monday (12th) along with colder than normal temperatures statewide. Trace amounts were also reported in central Iowa. A strong high pressure system over the Great Plains dominated the weather pattern for much of mid-week. Tuesday (13th) and Wednesday (14th) were dry statewide with average highs reaching the upper 40s across parts of northwestern Iowa. A southerly wind helped temperatures warm into the upper 40s to middle 50s on Thursday (15th). Northwestern Iowa had daytime highs 10 degrees above average. Snow moved into Iowa during the afternoon on Friday (16th) and lingered across the state into Saturday (17th). Snowfall totals were over three inches in Iowa’s northeastern third. St. Ansgar (Mitchell County) observed 3.8 inches of snow. Snow showers reformed across Iowa’s southern half later in the day on Saturday before moving out early Sunday (18th). Accumulations ranged from a dusting to over six inches; Beaconsfield (Ringgold County) reported 6.5 inches. Bitter cold temperatures gripped northern Iowa to end the week. Some locations had overnight lows below zero Saturday night into Sunday. Mason City (Marshall County) reported a low of -6 degrees, breaking the record of -4 degrees set in 1894. Sioux City Airport (Woodbury County) reported the week’s high temperature of 60 degrees on the 15th, 13 degrees above normal. An overnight low of -6 degrees was reported at New Hampton (Chickasaw County) on the 18th, 28 degrees below normal.