Written by Theresa Rose on September 14, 2016

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.


“With rains falling across much of Iowa, the crops are still a few weeks away from the start of harvest statewide.  The extra moisture has contributed to some reported signs of stress on the crop. We continue to see some aerial seeding of cover crops into standing corn and soybeans to allow them to start growing before the crop is harvested this fall,” 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:




Iowa’s wettest week of the year, with especially heavy rains in northern Iowa, limited fieldwork during the week ending September 11, 2016, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were just 3.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Producers reported seeing corn stalk rot and stress on soybeans due to excessive moisture. Activities for the week included chopping corn for silage, seed corn harvest and cutting hay.


Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 3 percent short, 86 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 84 percent adequate and 9 percent surplus.


Ninety percent of the corn crop reached the dent stage or beyond, 5 days ahead of the five-year average. Twenty-nine percent of corn had reached maturity, 3 days ahead of last year, but 1 day behind average. Corn condition rated 83 percent good to excellent. Sixty-two percent of soybeans have started to turn color, 2 days ahead of last year’s pace. Nineteen percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, 3 days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 82 percent good to excellent.


The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 91 percent complete, two weeks ahead of last year. Producers in several parts of the State have been working on a fourth cutting of hay. Especially green and productive for late summer, pasture condition improved slightly to 65 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as excellent although there were a few reports of muddy feedlots.