Iowa Crops & Weather Report – November 26

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.

“Iowa farmers have dealt with numerous challenges throughout the growing season, including flooding in northwest Iowa and serious drought in the southeast part of the state. The record precipitation we have received this fall has resulted in one of the slowest harvests on record. Even with those challenges, many parts of our state reported record or near record yields. We are fortunate to have tremendous farmers who do an amazing job raising the crops and livestock that help keep us fed and fueled,” Naig said.

This is the final weekly Iowa Crop Progress and Condition of 2018.  The reports are scheduled to resume April 1, 2019.

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 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 25, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting corn and soybeans, baling stalks, applying manure, and moving grain. Early in the week farmers were doing fall tillage, tile repair, and anhydrous application, but those activities halted as declining temperatures, rain and snow arrived.

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, 79 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus.

Ninety-six percent of the State’s corn for grain crop has been harvested, 4 days behind the five-year average. Farmers in northwest, north central, and central Iowa have harvested 98 percent of their corn for grain while farmers in the southwest have 13 percent of their corn for grain remaining to be harvested. Moisture content of field corn being harvested averaged 16 percent. Soybean harvest was 98 percent complete, 9 days behind last year and 12 days behind the average.

Feedlots and pastures were messy with warming temperatures followed by rain and snow late in the week. Livestock conditions varied by area with some reports of no issues while others had trouble getting water, feed, and bedding to livestock.


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

Thanksgiving week was cooler than average for most of Iowa with some locations experiencing seasonal temperatures. Northeastern Iowa was up to six degrees below normal while parts of extreme western Iowa were a few degrees above average. Most of Iowa also experienced unseasonably dry conditions; widespread measurable precipitation did not fall until after Thanksgiving. Monday (19th) was cold across much of Iowa with average highs up to 20 degrees below average. Winds gradually shifted to a southerly direction Tuesday (20th) into Wednesday (21st), warming temperatures into the upper 40s and low 50s in the south; northern Iowa observed low to mid 30s. Thanksgiving Day (22nd) started with foggy conditions across much of Iowa. Sunny conditions then prevailed across the state with highs reaching into the mid-50s in southwestern Iowa. Rain showers moved into Iowa early Friday (23rd) bringing measurable accumulations statewide. Higher amounts were reported across eastern Iowa with Muscatine (Muscatine County) observing 0.35 inches, 0.27 inches above average. Saturday (24th) was pleasant with highs reaching into the middle 50s. After partly sunny conditions for much of the day, increasing clouds signaled the next major weather system. A strong low pressure moved into Iowa late Saturday into Sunday (25th) with a wintery mix and snow. The system brought winds up to 40 mph and moderate to heavy snowfall across southern Iowa as of the end of the reporting period at 7:00 a.m.; blizzard conditions and snow accumulations of up to 17 inches were reported in Iowa’s southeastern quadrant after the observation cut-off. Sioux City (Woodbury County) observed the week’s high of 62 degrees on the 22nd, 20 degrees above average. Fayette (Fayette County) and Tripoli (Bremer County) reported a low of -3 degrees on the 19th, 27 degrees below average. Davenport (Scott County) reported the highest rainfall total of the week at 1.83 inches.