Iowa Crops and Weather Report

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented Monday (April 11) on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.

“Wet, cool and windy weather kept farmers from the fields for much of the past week and mean we will need a couple of days of warmer temperatures and dry weather before we see widespread activity this spring,” Northey said. “The weather has been very good for cover crops that were seeded last fall to help protect water quality and it is exciting to see them greening up and growing on fields across the state.”

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:


High winds and frequent showers kept many Iowa producers out of their fields during the week ending April 10, 2016, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 3.1 days suitable for fieldwork. West central and southwest Iowa led the way with 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Field activities included anhydrous and manure applications. Farmers were also getting equipment ready for planting as they waited for warmer weather.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 84 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 87 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus.

Thirty percent of the State’s expected oat crop has been planted, two days behind the 5-year average. Oats emerged reached 3 percent, equal to last year but almost a week behind normal.

Pasture condition rated 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 50 percent good and 5 percent excellent. Pastures have been slow to grow due to the cold conditions. Livestock conditions were described as good. Calving season has been going well for most producers, but constant moisture has been a challenge for some.


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

Iowa endured an unseasonably cool and windy week. Temperatures were below normal throughout the week across eastern Iowa while portions of western Iowa managed above normal temperatures on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday (10th). A hard freeze occurred over about the northeast one-half of the state on Tuesday (5th) morning with temperatures falling as low as 20 degrees at Elkader. The coldest weather of the week came on Saturday morning when the low temperatures varied from 13 degrees at Audubon to 26 degrees at Guttenberg. On the other end of the spectrum Glenwood, Little Sioux and Sidney reached 70 degrees on Tuesday afternoon while Red Oak reached 68 degrees on Sunday (10th). Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from seven to nine degrees below normal across far eastern Iowa to near normal over the extreme southwest. The statewide average temperature was 5.2 degrees below normal. Most of the week’s precipitation fell between Tuesday (5th) morning and Wednesday (6th) afternoon when showers and thunderstorms were widespread across Iowa. Light rain also fell across much of the eastern two-thirds of the state on Thursday (7th) with light showers also occurring nearly statewide on Sunday (10th). There were also snow showers on Friday (8th) across the northeast one-third of Iowa with some brief accumulations in some areas. Heaviest precipitation during the week fell across east central Iowa where 1.67 inches was reported in northern Cedar Rapids. Meanwhile only sprinkles fell across parts of west central Iowa from Glenwood to as far north as Ida and Sac counties. The statewide average precipitation was 0.34 inches or about one-half of the weekly normal of 0.70 inches. Wind gusts of 35 mph or more occurred somewhere in the state every day of the week with gusts over 50 mph in some areas on Thursday and Friday. Finally, soil temperatures at the four inch depth as of Sunday were averaging in the low forties over the northeast one-half of Iowa to the upper forties in the far southwest and southeast corners of the state.