Written by Theresa Rose on October 19, 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 warm dry weather has allowed farmers to make good progress and now 83 percent of soybeans and 52 percent of corn has been harvested. Corn harvest is now on pace with the five-year average after previously lagging behind,” Northey said. “The dry, windy and warm weather have allowed crops to dry quickly and farmers are encouraged to continue to exercise caution as the conditions exist for fires to start and potentially spread quickly.”

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:


Warm, dry, and windy conditions allowed Iowa farmers to harvest nearly one-quarter of the State’s corn for grain during the week ending October 18, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.9 days suitable for fieldwork, the most days suitable for fieldwork this season. Fieldwork activities for the week included harvesting corn for grain, harvesting soybeans, fall tilling, and spreading manure. Reported concerns for the week included field fires due to the dry, windy conditions, and stalk quality with a few reports of wind damage.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 22 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 13 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.

Virtually all of the corn crop was mature or beyond this week, one week ahead of last year, and 2 days ahead of the 5-year average. Fifty-two percent of the corn for grain has been harvested, nearly 2 weeks ahead of last year, and equal to the average. Moisture content of all corn being harvested was 17 percent, down 2 percentage points from the previous week. Ninety-seven percent of soybeans were dropping leaves or beyond, 2 days behind normal. Eighty-three percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, 10 days ahead of last year, and 2 days ahead of average.

Pasture condition rated 58 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were described as excellent.