Written by Theresa Rose on June 2, 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.

“Unfortunately wet weather continues limit the ability of farmers to get into the field. Soybean planting is now four days behind the five-year average. Southwest Iowa has been the most delayed by the weather with only 37 percent of soybeans planted compared to 78 percent for the statewide average,” 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:


Cool temperatures and persistent wet conditions hindered fieldwork in Iowa during the week ending May 31, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were only 2.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Operators reported standing water in some fields and the need to replant in areas of some fields. Producers are still concerned about muddy feedlots and limited spraying due to wet fields.

Topsoil moisture levels rated to 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 6 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus. Southwest and south central Iowa both reported 50 percent surplus topsoil moisture levels. South central Iowa reported over one-third surplus subsoil moisture levels.

Ninety-seven percent of the corn crop has been planted, behind last year’s progress for the first time this season. Corn emerged reached 90 percent, just 2 days ahead of last year and the 5-year average. Eighty percent of the corn crop was rated good to excellent. Soybean planting reached 78 percent complete, one week behind 2014, and 4 days behind average. Southwest and south central Iowa continued to lag behind in the planting of their expected soybean acreage with only 37 and 50 percent of their soybean crop in the ground, respectively. Soybean emergence reached 53 percent, slightly behind last year and normal. Oat emergence is nearly complete, while oats headed reached 8 percent this week, almost one week behind the 5-year average. Oat condition rated 81 percent good to excellent.

Frequent rains continued to slow progress on the first cutting of alfalfa hay with just 18 percent complete. Hay conditions rated 82 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition improved to 76 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were described as good with cool temperatures and no heat stress.