Written by Theresa Rose on May 17, 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.


“Planting has been slowed by the rains but farmers have been able to get in 88 percent of the corn and 43 percent of the soybean acres.  Although only a few days were fit to be in the field and the state saw cooler temperatures last week, we’ve been able to maintain progress above average,” 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:




Wet and cold conditions across much of Iowa slowed field work or even brought it to a standstill for the week ending May 15, 2016, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were just 2.2 days suitable for fieldwork. There were some reports of frost in low-lying areas.


Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 82 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 83 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus. Similar to last week, the western third of Iowa reported the largest percentages of surplus and adequate subsoil moisture levels.


Eighty-eight percent of the corn crop has been planted, a day behind last year, but 4 days ahead of the 5-year average. Farmers in north central and central Iowa are close to completion with 97 percent or more of the corn crop planted. Fifty-one percent of corn has emerged, 5 days ahead of the average. Forty-three percent of the soybean acreage has been planted, 2 days ahead of normal. There were scattered reports of soybeans emerged. Oats emerged reached 94 percent, 6 days ahead of the previous year and 9 days ahead of the average. Oat condition was rated 78 percent good to excellent.


Hay condition rated 73 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition rated 71 percent good to excellent; benefitting from the added moisture during the week. Livestock conditions were reported as mostly normal although feedlots were muddy.