Written by Theresa Rose on August 25, 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.

“With the rains much of the state received last week most areas have adequate moisture. Crops remain in good condition with 82 percent of corn and 77 percent of soybeans rated as good to excellent,” 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:


Above normal precipitation in western Iowa drove the State average down to 4.1 days suitable for fieldwork, while drier conditions allowed farmers more than 5 days suitable in east central and southeastern Iowa for the week ending August 23, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included cutting hay, harvesting oats, and fungicide and insecticide applications. There were scattered reports of aphids in fields, as well as minor sudden death syndrome in soybean fields.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 9 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 8 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus. Heavy rains in northwest Iowa elevated subsoil moisture levels up 10 percentage points to 89 percent adequate to surplus this week.

Eighty-nine percent of the corn crop reached the dough stage or beyond, with 34 percent dented or beyond, 4 days behind the 5-year average. Scattered reports of corn reaching maturity were received this week. Corn condition rated 82 percent good to excellent. Soybeans blooming neared completion this week, while 90 percent of soybeans were setting pods, with a few reports of soybeans starting to turn color. Soybean condition rated 77 percent good to excellent. Oats harvested for grain or seed was nearing completion.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 97 percent complete, while the third cutting of alfalfa hay was 57 percent complete, 4 days behind average. Hay condition rated 66 percent good to excellent, while pasture condition rated 67 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as normal.