Written by Theresa Rose on August 15, 2017

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today 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 October.

“As the dry weather continues we see the portion of Iowa in drought continuing to expand and crop conditions deteriorate.  Unfortunately, 40 percent of the state, including portions of 23 counties, is now in severe drought,” Northey said.

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:


All of Iowa experienced cooler than normal temperatures with very little precipitation scattered across the state during the week ending August 13, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included applying fungicides and insecticides, hauling grain, and haying.

Topsoil moisture levels fell to 30 percent very short, 33 percent short, 37 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. According to the August 8, 2017 U.S. Drought Monitor, Iowa’s region of drought expanded to 40 percent of the state including portions of 23 counties in severe drought. Subsoil moisture levels rated 25 percent very short, 33 percent short, 42 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. That is the highest percentage of very short subsoil moisture supplies since the first week of November 2013.

Sixty-two percent of the corn crop was in or beyond the dough stage, 6 days behind last year. Eight percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage, one week behind average. Corn condition declined to 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 52 percent good and 9 percent excellent. Soybeans blooming reached 94 percent, 5 days behind last year and 4 days behind average. Eighty-two percent of soybeans were setting pods, 3 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 4 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 49 percent good and 7 percent excellent. Ninety-five percent of the oat crop for grain or seed has been harvested, equal to average.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 65 percent complete, 8 days ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of average. Pasture condition was reported as 45 percent poor to very poor, the highest percentage reported in those categories since the beginning of April 2014. Cooler temperatures improved livestock conditions, but supplemental feeding has been required and ponds are drying up in some areas.