Written by Theresa Rose on April 28, 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.

“Fieldwork and planting slowed with the cool wet weather that was seen last week, but will likely begin in earnest with several days of warm, dry weather forecast for the week ahead,” 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:


Rain events and cool weather slowed planting in Iowa during the week ending April 26, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included manure hauling, tillage, anhydrous application, and limited planting.

Topsoil moisture levels improved to 0 percent very short, 10 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus. It was the first April week since 2011 with no topsoil rated very short. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 14 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.

Fourteen percent of the corn acreage has been planted, just ahead of last year, but 4 days behind the 5-year average. Farmers in central Iowa led the way with more than one-quarter of their corn crop planted. Eighty-five percent of the oat crop has been planted, almost two weeks ahead of last year, and 1 week ahead of average. Oats emerged reached 41 percent, 9 days ahead of last year, and 1 day ahead of normal. North central and northeast Iowa lagged behind, with only 22 and 23 percent of oats emerged, respectively.

Pasture condition improved to 56 percent good to excellent. Pastures continued to green up, though cool weather has slowed growth. Cattle and hog conditions were reported as good. Poultry producers were concerned with the recent outbreak of avian influenza.