Written by Theresa Rose on April 14, 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 weather has allowed farmers to get some field work done and if it stays warm and dry planters will be rolling across the state in the next few weeks,” Northey said. “It is an exciting time on the farm as farmers are looking forward to the new growing season.”

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 to slow down fieldwork in Iowa during the week ending April 12, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Parts of Iowa experienced snow during the week and cool soil temperatures remain a concern. After a slow start, farmers in northern Iowa continued to apply anhydrous, while applications in the southern two-thirds of the State were winding down.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 17 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 20 percent short, 75 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. North central Iowa reported the highest soil moisture levels with topsoil and subsoil moisture levels rated 95 percent and 87 percent in adequate to surplus, respectively.

One-quarter of the State’s expected oat crop was planted during the week ending April 12, 2015. Forty-two percent of oats have been planted, 5 days ahead of last year, but slightly behind normal. Four percent of oats have emerged, 5 days ahead of last year, but 6 days behind the average.

Pasture condition rated 41 percent good to excellent. Pastures are greening up, but use by livestock has been limited due to slow growth. Livestock conditions were reported as mostly good with some reports of calving nearing completion.