Iowa Crop and Weather Report

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented Monday (Oct. 27) 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.

“The agreeable weather last week allowed many farmers to make good harvest progress, but with 36 percent of corn and 81 percent of soybeans harvested we remain behind the five-year average,” Northey said. “Wet fields and rain showers continue to slow progress in some areas and hopefully warm, dry weather will allow harvest to progress in a timely manner.”

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:


Above average temperatures and mostly dry weather allowed harvest to progress at a normal pace during the 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending October 26, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. A few low-lying fields remain too muddy to harvest. Activities for the week included fall tillage, manure and fertilizer application, corn stalk baling, and hauling grain.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 16 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 5 percent short, 81 percent adequate, and 13 percent surplus. Southwest and south central Iowa were the wettest with over one-third of their topsoil and subsoil in surplus condition.

With almost all of Iowa’s corn acreage mature, harvest was 36 percent complete, 6 days behind 2013 and 16 days behind the five-year average. Moisture content of corn at harvest was estimated at 19 percent, encouraging some farmers to harvest, but still limiting others who are waiting for corn to dry down in the field. Seventy-seven percent of the corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition. Soybean harvest reached 81 percent complete, 2 days behind last year and 4 days behind normal. Many farmers across the State were waiting for their replanted soybeans to mature.

Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 58 percent moderate to heavy, increasing 3 percentage points from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability was 90 percent adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was 86 percent adequate to surplus.

Pasture condition rated 65 percent good to excellent, while hay and roughage supplies were estimated at 97 percent adequate to surplus. Livestock conditions were excellent, and a few cattle were turned out on corn stalk fields.


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

Iowa enjoyed a mild and mostly dry week. Light to moderate rain fell between Wednesday (22nd) afternoon and Thursday (23rd) morning over most of the state. Some very light rain was also scattered across northeast and east central Iowa on Friday (24th) afternoon. Otherwise dry weather prevailed. Weekly rain totals varied from just sprinkles over extreme southeastern Iowa to 1.18 inches at Council Bluffs. The statewide average precipitation was 0.35 inches while normal for the week is 0.56 inches. Temperatures were above normal throughout the week across western Iowa where Sioux City recorded highs in the seventies every day. Eastern Iowa temperatures were near to below normal through Thursday but climbed well above normal on Friday (24th) and Saturday (25th). There were some scattered freezes, mostly across northeastern Iowa, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday (26th) mornings. However, these lower readings came in areas that had recorded freezes earlier this fall. Much of the southeastern quarter of Iowa, and a few scattered areas elsewhere, have yet to record a freeze this season. Temperature extremes for the week varied from a high of 78 degrees at Sioux City on Friday (24th) to a low of 27 degrees at Elkader on Sunday (26th). Temperatures for the week averaged from 11 degrees above normal over extreme northwest Iowa to one degree above normal at Burlington with a statewide average of 5.1 degrees above normal. Soil temperatures at the four inch depth were mostly averaging in the mid-fifties at the end of the week.