Written by Theresa Rose on June 30, 2015

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.

“The strong storms and heavy rains that rolled through Iowa last week have stressed crops, flooded some fields and limited farmers’ ability to get needed work done. Spraying weeds, side-dressing fertilizer, making hay and other activities were all slowed by the wet weather. Some farmers in Southwest and South Central Iowa may be forced to take prevented-planting coverage on some fields they will not be able to plant before July 1,” 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:


Severe weather conditions rolled through Iowa this week as high winds, isolated hail, and plenty of rain occurred during the week ending June 28, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 3.0 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included cutting hay, herbicide and fungicide applications, and some nitrogen side dressing. Excessive moisture is stressing some crops, causing small drowned-out areas, and preventing farmers from controlling weeds.

Topsoil moisture levels rated to 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 31 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus.

In southwest and south central Iowa farmers have begun to file prevented plantings for any remaining corn and soybean acreage. Eighty-three percent of the corn crop was rated good to excellent. Soybean emergence reached 96 percent, 11 days behind 2014. Soybean condition rated 78 percent good to excellent this week. With 90 percent of the oat crop headed or beyond, conditions declined slightly to 81 percent good to excellent.

Hay condition fell to 70 percent good to excellent this week due to wet conditions. The first cutting of alfalfa hay reached 83 percent complete. The second cutting reached 9 percent, one week behind average. Pasture condition rated 81 percent good to excellent. Muddy feedlots and increased insect pressure elevated livestock stress levels.