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.

“The wet weather continues to slow planting progress as farmers remain well behind the five year average for both corn and soybean planting progress,” Northey said.  “It will likely take several days of dry weather for fields to dry enough for farmers to resume planting.”

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:


Dry conditions early in the week ending May 26, 2013 permitted Iowa farmers to make progress planting crops according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. As the week continued, rainfall across much of Iowa brought a halt to field activities. There was a wide range of days suitable for fieldwork across Iowa, with North Central Iowa having less than one day suitable, and South East Iowa having 4 days suitable. Statewide there was an average of 2.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week.

Flooding and soil erosion were reported in many areas of the state. Farmers were concerned about standing water after precipitation received during the weekend. Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 45 percent adequate and 54 percent surplus. This is the highest surplus rating for topsoil moisture conditions since June 2010. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 63 percent adequate and 29 percent surplus.

Eighty-five percent of Iowa’s corn acreage had been planted, behind the five-year average of 98 percent. Fifty-four percent of the State’s corn crop has emerged, well behind last year’s 93 percent, and the normal 81 percent. Soybean planting was 40 percent complete, behind last year’s 95 percent and the five-year average of 83 percent. Eight percent of the soybean crop has emerged. Oat emergence was nearing completion, with 92 percent of the crop emerged. Oat condition was rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 57 percent good and 9 percent excellent.

Pasture and range conditions rated 2 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 47 percent good and 14 percent excellent. It was reported some pastures along streams and rivers had flooded with the recent rains.


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

The past reporting week began with above normal temperatures and widespread rainfall Sunday (19th) afternoon into Sunday night. Very heavy rain fell over much of Mitchell County with a 5.10 inch daily total at Saint Ansgar. Warm weather continued into Monday (20th) with scattered thunderstorms over the northeast two-thirds of the state during the evening hours. A transition to cooler weather began on Tuesday (21st) with light rain spreading into northwest Iowa. Cloudy and damp weather was the rule for much of the period from Wednesday through the weekend. Light to moderate rain fell statewide on Wednesday and lingered into Thursday morning over the far east. Thunderstorms brought rain statewide from late Friday through Saturday (25th) morning. Another heavier round of storms passed through Iowa from late Saturday through Sunday (26th) morning. Torrential rain fell over northwest Iowa early Sunday morning from Lyon County southeast to Cherokee County and also over central Iowa from the Marshall County southeast to Keokuk County. Still more heavy rain fell later Sunday into Monday in much the same areas but this next event will be included in next week’s summary. Weekly rain totals varied from 0.54 inches at Beaconsfield in Ringgold County to 9.06 inches at Grinnell. The statewide average precipitation was 2.34 inches or more than double the weekly normal of 1.05 inches. Temperature extremes varied from Monday (20th) afternoon highs of 82 degrees at Dubuque Lock & Dam and Iowa City to Friday morning lows of 35 degrees at Elkader and Cresco. Temperatures for the week as a whole varied from one degree below normal in the southwest to five degrees below normal in the northwest with a statewide average of 3.5 degrees below normal.