Iowa Crops and Weather Report

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented Monday (April 25) 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 weather continues to be ideal in much of the state and farmers were able to get forty percent of the state’s anticipated corn acres planted before getting stalled by rains last week,” Northey said. “We’ve heard of some parts of Iowa where soybean planting has begun as well. We ask those traveling through rural areas to stay alert for farmers moving machinery and to keep safety in mind.”

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:


Rain slowed planting progress in much of Iowa during the week ending April 24, 2016, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork. Other activities for the week included tillage, anhydrous applications, and planting preparations.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 5 percent short, 89 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 90 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.

Forty percent of the corn acreage has been planted, 6 days ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of the 5-year average. Farmers in north central, central, and southeast Iowa have already planted over half their corn crop. Ninety-two percent of the State’s oat crop has been planted, one week ahead of last year and more than 2 weeks ahead of average. Oats emerged reached 40 percent, moving ahead of average for the first time this year. There were scattered reports of soybeans being planted.

Pasture condition rated 61 percent good to excellent, with pastures described as green and growing. Livestock conditions were reported as good, although some feedlots were back to muddy conditions due to the rain.


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

A very slow moving storm system brought rain to far western Iowa on Sunday (17th) night and finally exited the state on Thursday (21st) afternoon. Heaviest rains with this system fell over far western Iowa, particularly on Wednesday (20th). Dry weather prevailed statewide on Friday (22nd) and Saturday (23rd) before showers and thunderstorms moved into western Iowa Sunday (24th) morning. Thunderstorms also redeveloped over the west one-half of Iowa late Sunday afternoon and evening, a few of which brought hail and high winds. However, this last round of storms came too late to be reflected in this reporting week’s statistics. Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.05 inches at Marion to 3.88 inches at Kennebec in Monona County. There was a statewide average of 1.07 inches of rain for the week, slightly above the normal for the period of 0.89 inches. Monday (18th) was the warmest day of the reporting week across eastern Iowa and Sunday (24th) was the warmest over the west. In between these two very warm days, the remainder of the week brought temperatures near to slightly above seasonal normals. Temperature extremes for the week varied from highs of 83 degrees at Muscatine on Monday (18th) and 84 degrees at Glenwood on Sunday (24th) while Mason City recorded the lowest temperature at 35 degrees on Saturday (23rd) morning. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 6.1 degrees above normal. Soil temperatures at the four inch depth were mostly averaging in the upper fifties across Iowa as of Sunday (24th).