Northey Comments on Crop and Weather Report

Written by Theresa Rose on May 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.

“Planting progress continues, but the wet weather has slowed it considerably from the record pace at the start of the season. Much of the state remains at or ahead of the five-year average, but the Southwest part of the state has been challenged by wet conditions and as a result planting has lagged behind. Farmers across the state are anxious to finish planting and move on to spraying and other field work,” 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:


Wet conditions continued, delaying planting and allowing only 2.8 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the week ending May 24, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Cattle producers had concerns about muddy feedlots while crop farmers experienced spraying delays. Farmers are evaluating the need to replant corn in low-lying areas.

Topsoil moisture levels increased to 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 23 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus. Only southeast Iowa had any topsoil reported as being very short on moisture. Southwest Iowa had the highest subsoil moisture rating at 99 adequate to surplus.

Ninety-six percent of the corn crop has been planted, 1 day ahead of last year, and 3 days ahead of the 5-year average. Southwest Iowa remains well behind the other districts with just 81 percent planted, while northwest, north central and central Iowa are virtually complete. Corn emerged reached 81 percent, 6 days ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of normal. The first corn condition rating of the season was 0 percent very poor, 1 percent poor, 20 percent fair, 63 percent good, and 16 percent excellent. Soybean planting reached 70 percent complete, behind last year’s pace for the first time this year. Thirty-two percent of the soybean crop has emerged, slightly ahead of last year and normal. With emergence nearly complete, oat conditions improved slightly with 82 percent good to excellent.

The first cutting of alfalfa hay advanced to 11 percent completed. Hay conditions improved slightly to 81 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition also improved to 74 percent good to excellent. Muddy conditions in pastures and feedlots have stressed livestock in some areas.