Iowa Crop and Weather Report

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented Monday, Oct. 20, on the Iowa crop progress and condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.

“Heavy rains across the southeastern two-thirds of Iowa early last week kept farmers out of the fields for several days and as a result we remain well behind the five-year average with only 19 percent of corn and 61 percent of soybeans harvested,” Northey said. “The dry weather the last several days has been very helpful and farmers will be working long hours to get the crop in when conditions allow.”

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:


Fieldwork stalled early in the week due to rain, but farmers were able to harvest during the rest of the week ending October 19, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Overall there were 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork. Most farmers reported harvesting soybeans while waiting for corn to dry down in the fields. Activities for the week included fall tillage, manure and fertilizer application, biomass baling, and hauling grain.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 18 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 5 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 14 percent surplus. Southwest and south central Iowa were the wettest with over one-third of their topsoil in surplus condition.

Ninety-six percent of Iowa’s corn acreage was mature, 3 days behind the five-year average. Corn harvest advanced 9 percentage points to 19 percent complete, 18 days behind the normal pace. Moisture content of corn at harvest was estimated at 21 percent. Seventy-seven percent of the corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition. With almost the entire soybean crop dropping leaves or beyond, harvest reached 61 percent complete, 9 days behind normal. Seventy-four percent of the soybean acreage was in good to excellent condition.

Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 55 percent moderate to heavy, increasing 8 percentage points from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability was 92 percent adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was 87 percent adequate to surplus.

Pasture and hay have had excellent regrowth this fall with plenty of rain and cooler than normal temperatures. Pasture condition remained steady at 66 percent good to excellent, while hay and roughage supplies were estimated at 97 percent adequate to surplus. Livestock conditions were reported as ideal.


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

Light rain fell nearly statewide on Sunday (12th) with moderate to heavy rain falling across the southeast two-thirds of Iowa on Monday (13th) and into Tuesday (14th). The remainder of the week was dry excepting some scattered very light rain over the northeast on Friday (17th). Weekly rainfall amounts varied from just a trace at Spencer and Estherville to 4.61 inches at Pella. The statewide average precipitation was 1.50 inches or nearly triple the weekly normal of 0.56 inches. Temperatures were near seasonal averages for the week with cooler than normal weather on Sunday (12th) and Saturday (18th) and slightly higher than normal temperatures during the work week. Temperature extremes varied from morning lows of 28 degrees at Sheldon on Wednesday (15th) and 27 degrees at Elkader on Sunday (19th) to a Thursday (16th) afternoon high of 78 degrees at Sioux City. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from 3 degrees above normal over the far northwest to two degrees below normal over the far southeast with a statewide average of 0.2 degrees above normal. Soil temperatures at the four inch depth as of Sunday (19th) were averaging in the low to mid 50’s statewide and are expected to remain in the fifties for the coming week.