Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.  The report is released weekly from April through October.

“Most of the state received needed precipitation last week that will provide needed moisture for the growing season, unfortunately some was in the form of damaging ice in Northwest Iowa,” Northey said.  “Little field work was able to be completed, but we are still early enough in the season where farmers will be able to catch up if we receive some warm dry weather.”

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:


Precipitation was received across Iowa during the week ending April 14, 2013, ranging from rain in southern Iowa to rain, snow and ice in northern Iowa. The much needed precipitation helped replenish top soil moisture. The wet conditions limited fieldwork across the state. Statewide there was an average of 0.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 7 percent very short, 19 percent short, 65 percent adequate and 9 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 27 percent very short, 42 percent short and 29 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

Oat planting was 20 percent complete, far behind last year’s 84 percent and the five-year average of 51 percent.

Pasture and range condition rated 24 percent very poor, 29 percent poor, 35 percent fair and 11 percent good and 1 percent excellent. The wet and cool weather has made calving more difficult.


By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Iowa experienced its wettest week since July 2010 with a statewide average of 2.90 inches of rain compared to a weekly normal of 0.78 inches. The heaviest rains fell from Monday (8th) evening through Thursday (11th) morning when two to three inch rains were widespread over northern Iowa. Significant rain also fell Sunday night (7th) and Saturday (13th) night into the next Sunday (14th). Weekly rain totals varied from 0.80 inches at Glenwood to 5.31 inches near Badger in Webster County. Besides the rain there was a wide variety of weather during the week. Thunderstorms brought scattered reports of large hail over the southeast one-half of the state on Monday night. Another round of storms brought large hail and high winds to parts of the northwest one-third of Iowa on Tuesday afternoon and evening. Wednesday and Wednesday night brought a very damaging ice storm to far northwestern Iowa. Finally, colder air turned the rain to snow over about the northwest one-third of the state later Wednesday and into Thursday with six inches reported in Lyon and Osceola counties. The reporting week began with mild weather on Monday (8th) with daytime highs from the mid 50’s northeast to mid 70’s southeast. Sharply colder air moved into the state for Tuesday (9th) but not before temperatures reached as high as the upper 70’s in the southeast. Otherwise daytime highs were only in the mid 30’s northwest to the 40’s over the south through Friday (12th). Warmer weather returned for the weekend with highs reaching into the mid 50’s southwest on Saturday (13th) to the upper 70’s southeast on Sunday (14th). Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from near normal over the extreme southeast to 12 degrees below normal over the far northwest. The statewide average temperature was 3.9 degrees below normal for the week. Extremes varied from a low of 17 degrees at Sibley on Saturday (13th) morning to highs of 79 degrees at Keosauqua, Oskaloosa and Ottumwa on Tuesday. Finally, soil temperatures as of Sunday (14th) varied from the low 40’s north to upper 40’s south.