Naig on: Iowa Crop Progress and Condition

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

DES MOINES — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.

“We continue to see spotty showers across the state with some areas receiving strong storms and other areas, especially southern Iowa, extremely dry,” Naig said. “Subsoil moisture is now 31 percent short or very short in the state and in south-central and southeast Iowa over 85 percent of the land is short or very short of moisture.”


Iowa farmers had 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Aug. 12, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting hay and oats for grain, spraying for aphids, and moving grain.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 12 percent very short, 23 percent short, 62 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 10 percent very short, 21 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels in south central and southeast Iowa remain critical with over 85 percent rated short to very short.

Seventy-three percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage or beyond, nine days ahead of the five-year average. Corn dented was at 22 percent, nine days ahead of last year. Corn condition rated 75 percent good to excellent. Ninety-six percent of the soybean crop was blooming with 89 percent setting pods, over a week ahead of both last year and the average. Soybean condition declined slightly to 72 percent good to excellent. Ninety-three percent of the oat crop has been harvested for grain.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 47 percent complete, four days behind the previous year but four days ahead of the average. Dry conditions have kept alfalfa regrowth very short following the second cutting. Hay condition fell to 56 percent good to excellent. Pasture conditions declined to 44 percent rated good to excellent. Pasture regrowth remains a concern, especially in the southern two-thirds of the state.


By Dr. Justin Glisan, State Climatologist,

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

The first full week of August saw warmer conditions for much of Iowa, with average temperatures one to three degrees above normal in most places. Precipitation accumulations were also above average across a swath of Iowa between Webster and Dubuque counties, with some locations reporting rainfall from 3-5 inches above normal. Aug. 6-7 had daytime highs well above average, especially in south-central Iowa, where highs reached the upper 90s. Lamoni (Decatur County) observed the week’s high temperature of 100 degrees. Over this period, a low-pressure system moved slowly across Iowa, bringing measurable precipitation to much of the state, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in Webster and Buchanan counties. Fort Dodge (Webster County) recorded the week’s highest accumulation of 5.95 inches, 5.81 inches above average. Multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms continued into Aug. 7, with nearly 20 stations reporting rainfall above one inch; Guttenberg (Clayton County) observed 2.36 inches of rain, 2.23 inches above normal. A few thunderstorms became severe, with one report of 63 mph wind gusts in Black Hawk County. Aug. 8 was a pleasant day statewide, with average highs in the lower 80s. A weak cold front moved across Iowa on Aug. 9, firing off a few spotty thunderstorms in Iowa’s southeastern quadrant; Cedar Rapids (Linn County) reported 0.07 inches of rain. Aug. 10-12 was warm and mostly precipitation free, as a high-pressure system moved into the Midwest. A few thundershowers brought measurable rainfall to a handful of stations; Mount Pleasant reported 0.05 inches on Friday. Over this three-day stretch, statewide average highs were in the upper 80s, with lower 90s in south-central Iowa.