Written by Theresa Rose on August 4, 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.

“Crops continue to mature and the outlook remains generally good with 83 percent of corn and 79 percent of soybeans in good to excellent condition. Some areas continue to be challenged by the weather while others face weed, insect or disease issues,” 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 heavy rains were reported in some areas of the State; drier than normal conditions prevailed in other areas. Overall, Iowa farmers had 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending August 2, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included cutting hay and fungicide and insecticide applications. Humidity and heat aided crop development, but precipitation made harvesting hay and oats difficult in some areas. There were reports of weed and insect problems in soybeans and fungus in corn fields.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 6 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 14 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 6 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus. South central Iowa saw the largest increase in topsoil moisture levels, with 60 percent surplus, up from 51 percent the prior week.

Ninety-three percent of the corn crop reached the silking stage or beyond, with 30 percent reaching the dough stage or beyond. Corn condition rated 83 percent good to excellent. Soybeans blooming or beyond reached 87 percent, 2 days behind 2014. Fifty-seven percent of soybeans were setting pods. Soybean condition rated 79 percent good to excellent this week, up 3 percentage points from the previous week. Seventy-eight percent of the oat crop for grain or seed has been harvested, 5 days ahead of last year, but slightly behind the 5-year average.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 79 percent, 3 days behind last year, and one week behind the average, due to continued wet conditions. The third cutting of alfalfa hay is 13 percent complete, 8 days behind average. Hay condition was rated at 69 percent good to excellent, while pasture condition rated 76 percent good to excellent. Livestock experienced normal summer heat stress.