Home 5 Ag Stories Northey comments on crops and weather

Northey comments on crops and weather

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.

“Despite the rain showers that rolled across the state last week farmers were able to make some harvest progress, combining 9 percent of the state’s corn crop and 22 percent of the bean crop.  The 19 percent of corn and 43 percent of beans harvested are behind the five-year average of 32 percent of corn and 54 percent of beans typically harvested by this point. Hopefully we can get a run of dry weather that will let farmers get in the field and get the crop out in a timely manner,” 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:



Rainfall events throughout the week slowed down harvest allowing Iowa farmers just 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending October 9, 2016, according the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Although hampered by soft and muddy fields, activities for the week included soybean and corn for grain harvest and hauling manure.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 3 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 3 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus.

Ninety-four percent of the corn crop was mature or beyond, equal to last year’s pace, but 3 days ahead of the five-year average. Nineteen percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, 3 days behind last year and one week behind average. Moisture content of field corn being harvested was at 20 percent. Corn condition rated 81 percent good to excellent. Ninety-two percent of soybeans were dropping leaves or beyond, 2 days ahead of average. Despite scattered showers, over one-fifth of the State’s soybean crop was harvested in the past week, reaching 43 percent harvested, 3 days behind last year’s pace. Soybean condition rated 81 percent good to excellent.

Pasture condition was rated 62 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were described as good despite some flooded low-lying pastures and muddy feedlots.


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

Unseasonably warm weather prevailed through Thursday (6th) when a strong cold front passed through the state resulting in slightly cooler than normal weather for Friday (7th) and the weekend. Showers and thunderstorms were widespread over the western two-thirds of Iowa on Tuesday (4th) with a few localized rain amounts in excess of two inches over the west one-quarter of the state. Light rain fell over eastern Iowa on Wednesday (5th) morning with additional rain over the southeast one-third of the state on Wednesday night into Thursday (6th) morning when a very localized downpour of 4.98 inches of rain fell in Keokuk.

Rain fell nearly statewide between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning with a few rain totals over an inch across east central and southeast Iowa. Severe winds also struck parts of Muscatine and Scott counties on Thursday night. Rain totals for the week varied from only a trace at Manchester to 5.66 inches at Keokuk. The statewide average precipitation was 1.03 inches while normal for the week is 0.66 inches.

Temperatures averaged from one to two degrees above normal over northwest Iowa to four to six degrees above normal over the southeast with a statewide average of 3.6 degrees above normal. The season’s first freeze was recorded at Little Sioux on Friday(7th) morning with a 32 degree reading.

Freezes were recorded across scattered parts of the north one-third of Iowa on both Saturday (8th) and Sunday (9th) mornings with the lowest temperatures of 30 degrees at Cresco and Estherville on Sunday. On the other extreme 82 degree highs were recorded at Donnellson and Centerville on Tuesday (4th) and at Donnellson and Burlington on Wednesday (5th).