Written by Theresa Rose on October 27, 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 weather last week allowed farmers to make good progress and now 92 percent of soybeans and 73 percent of corn has been harvested. Corn and bean harvest are both ahead of last year and the five-year average.” Northey said. “The warm, windy weather early in the week allowed crops to dry quickly before much of the state got some moisture on Friday that slowed things down.”

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:


Harvest activities continued rapidly early in the week, but slowed down Friday due to rain, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 25, 2015. Down 1.5 days from the previous week. Iowa farmers were still able to harvest one-fifth of the State’s corn crop during the week. Fieldwork activities for the week included harvesting corn for grain, harvesting soybeans, fall tillage, tiling, terracing, seeding cover crops, and applying dry fertilizer. Other activities included chopping and baling corn stalks, as well as manure hauling and spreading.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 5 percent very short, 19 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 14 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.

Seventy-three percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, 12 days ahead of last year, and 3 days ahead of the 5-year average. Moisture content of all corn being harvested was at 16 percent, down 1 percentage point from the previous week with scattered reports of grain coming out of the field and going straight into the bin. Ninety-two percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, 9 days ahead of last year, and 2 days ahead of normal. Harvest progress of both corn and soybeans in southwest and south central Iowa continued to lag behind the rest of the State.

Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 9 percent none, 24 percent light, 43 percent moderate, and 24 percent heavy. Off-farm grain storage availability rated 21 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. On-farm grain storage availability rated 28 percent short, 68 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus.

Pasture condition rated 56 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were described as excellent, with reports of some cattle being turned out to graze corn stalks.