Written by Theresa Rose on July 24, 2018

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.

“We continue to be well ahead of the 5-year average on both corn and bean development, with 85 percent of the corn crop in the silk stage and 81 percent of the soybean crop blooming. Our thoughts and prayers are with many of our farmers, especially those in central and southeast Iowa, who have endured some severe weather, and we continue to assess the extent of the damage,” Naig 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:

Iowa farmers had 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 22, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Some farmers had to spend time surveying damage from the tornadoes, high winds and hail that struck parts of the State on Thursday. Regular activities included harvesting hay and applying chemicals.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 12 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 5 percent very short, 13 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus. Flood-related nutrient loss and crop damage remain a concern in the northern two-thirds of the State while subsoil moisture levels in south central and southeast Iowa considered short to very short are nearing 75 percent.

Eighty-eight percent of the corn crop has silked, 1 week ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of the 5-year average. Seven percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage, 3 days ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of average. Corn condition rated 79 percent good to excellent. Eighty-one percent of the soybean crop was blooming, with 40 percent of the soybean crop setting pods, 5 days ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of the average. Soybean condition rated 76 percent good to excellent. Ninety percent of the oat crop was turning color or beyond, with 35 percent of the crop harvested for grain. Oat condition was rated 77 percent good to excellent.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 86 percent complete, 10 days ahead of average. Drier conditions were favorable for harvesting hay. Hay condition rated 69 percent good to excellent. Pasture conditions declined slightly to 58 percent good to excellent. Cooler temperatures have provided livestock with some relief from high temperatures experienced in previous weeks.