Written by Theresa Rose on July 21, 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.

“In general, crops are in pretty good shape with 83 percent of corn and 77 percent of beans rated good to excellent. The hot and humid weather like we experienced some last week can increase the stress on livestock. Farmers monitor their animals closely to ensure they remain as comfortable as possible in the hot temperatures,” 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:


Hot and humid weather throughout Iowa aided crop development for the week ending July 19, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included cutting hay and fungicide application to corn. Tasseling corn was reported throughout the State.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus.

Over half the corn crop reached the silking stage, with 83 percent rated good to excellent. Soybeans blooming or beyond reached 62 percent, slightly behind 2014, but equal to normal. Fifteen percent of soybeans were setting pods. Soybean condition rated 77 percent good to excellent this week. Oat acreage turning color or beyond reached 87 percent, with 28 percent of the oat crop harvested for grain or seed, 3 days ahead of last year, but 4 days behind the average. Oat crop condition rating declined to 79 percent good to excellent.

The first cutting of alfalfa hay made little progress, advancing just 1 percentage point to 95 percent complete. The second cutting reached 53 percent, slightly ahead of last year, but 5 days behind normal. Hay condition was rated at 69 percent good to excellent, while pasture condition rated 78 percent good to excellent. Livestock stress levels increased as temperatures and humidity remained high throughout the week.