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Ag Secretary Northey comments on crops and weather report

DES MOINES – 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 warm temperatures and dry weather have aided crop development and allowed farmers to make hay, do some spraying and side-dress fertilizer. In general crops remain in good condition, but areas that have missed recent rains could use some moisture. Recent high temperatures and increased humidity can increase stress on livestock and farmers are working hard to keep animals comfortable,” Northey said.

The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia.  The report summary follows here:



Sunny and hot temperatures spurred growth and fieldwork progress during the week ending June 12, 2016, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork, the second highest number of days suitable so far this year. Activities for the week included cutting and baling hay, spraying herbicides and side-dressing corn with nitrogen. Due to the spotty nature of recent rains, many parts of the State would welcome rain, while other areas have adequate moisture.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 12 percent short, 82 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 7 percent short, 85 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus.

Virtually all of Iowa’s corn crop has emerged. Eighty percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition. Soybean planting reached 98 percent complete, 2 weeks ahead of last year and 13 days ahead of the five-year average. Soybean emergence reached 91 percent, 10 days ahead of both last year and the average. Soybean condition rated 81 percent good to excellent this week. Oats headed reached 60 percent this week, 5 days ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of normal. Oat condition rated 82 percent good to excellent.

Warmer and drier weather allowed Iowa farmers to complete over one-quarter of the State’s first cutting of alfalfa during the week to reach 86 percent complete. Hay condition rated 81 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition rated 79 percent good to excellent. There were scattered reports of stress on livestock due to the heat and humidity.




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

The reporting week began with seasonal temperatures and dry weather on Monday (6th). Tuesday was also dry and was the coolest day with daytime highs mostly in the seventies. Wednesday morning started out unseasonably cool but much warmer and more humid air began pushing into western Iowa by afternoon. Thunderstorms covered much of the northeast one-third of Iowa between Wednesday evening andThursday morning although only a few locations picked up more than one-half inch of rain. Hot and humid weather prevailed over most of Iowa from Thursday through Sunday. The exception was far northeast Iowa on Thursday and Sunday where daytime highs were only in the seventies. Friday was the hottest day in most areas with all of Iowa seeing temperatures climb into the nineties. Thunderstorms provided some relief from the heat between Friday evening and Saturday morning across parts of northwest, north central, central and south central Iowa. A few of these storms brought large hail and high winds to portions of northwest Iowa, particularly in Dickinson County. Locally heavy rain also fell with these early weekend storms, especially from the Charles City area to Cedar Falls and then southwestward toward Marshalltown and Indianola. Waverly reported the most rain for the week with 4.61 inches while much of west central, southwest and far southeast Iowa was dry. The statewide average rainfall was 0.53 inches while normal for the week is 1.19 inches. Temperature extremes ranged from Wednesday morning lows of 43 degrees at Belle Plaine, Elkader and Grinnell to Friday afternoon highs of 99 degrees at Estherville and Little Sioux. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from 2 to 4 degrees above normal across far eastern Iowa to 8 to 10 degrees above normal over the far west. The statewide average temperature was 5.5 degrees above normal.