Written by Theresa Rose on September 27, 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.

“Unfortunately the torrential rains that have caused devastating flooding in eastern Iowa have also kept many farmers out of the fields due to muddy conditions.  We need several days of dry weather to allow for statewide harvest to get underway,” 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:


Although southeast Iowa had 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork, statewide there were just 3.6 days suitable for the week ending September 25, 2016, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Above normal precipitation with localized heavy rains led to reports of fields with standing water. Activities for the week included chopping corn for silage, and some corn and soybean harvest. Excessive rains have raised concerns about crop damage and pasture condition in certain parts of the State.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 2 percent short, 67 percent adequate and 30 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus.

Seventy-two percent of the corn crop was mature or beyond, 3 days ahead of last year, and 2 days ahead of the five-year average. Corn harvest slowed due to wet conditions, but there were scattered reports of corn for grain being harvested. Corn condition rated 82 percent good to excellent. Ninety-three percent of soybeans were turning color or beyond, 3 days ahead of last year’s pace. Sixty-eight percent of soybeans were dropping leaves or beyond, 3 days ahead of average. Soybean harvest has begun where field conditions were dry enough. Soybean condition rated 81 percent good to excellent.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay advanced only one percentage point, to 96 percent, due to the week’s abundance of rain. Pasture condition rated 65 percent good to excellent. While above normal temperatures were beneficial for livestock conditions, grazing livestock had to move to higher ground as lowland pastures flooded in north central and northeastern Iowa. Outdoor feedlots also became muddy.