Rain Becoming a Premium in the Iowa Crop Report

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey 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 October.

“We have seen continued dry weather throughout much of the state and many producers, especially those in southeast Iowa, need moisture,” Northey said. “Now during county fair season and corn pollination season, we hope for cooler weather and more agreeable conditions for livestock and crops.”

The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia.  The report summary follows here:


Hot, dry weather prevailed across Iowa during the week ending July 9, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included hauling grain, applying herbicides, cultivating, and haying.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 12 percent very short, 28 percent short, 58 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 7 percent very short, 22 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Over one-half of southeast Iowa’s topsoil has fallen to the very short moisture level category with almost one third of the subsoil also in the very short moisture level category.

Seven percent of Iowa’s corn crop has reached the silking stage, 6 days behind the five-year average. As corn in the State begins pollination, many reporters mentioned the need for rain in the next few weeks. Seventy-seven percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition. One-third of the soybean crop was blooming, with five percent of soybeans setting pods, 3 days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 67 percent good to excellent. Nearly all the oat crop has headed with half turning color or beyond, one week behind last year and 3 days behind average. Oat condition rated 76 percent good to excellent. Scattered reports of oats harvested for grain were received.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 53 percent complete, 4 days behind last year but 5 days ahead of average. Hay condition rated 67 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition continues to decline with 55 percent good to excellent. Feedlots were reported to be in good condition as a result of the dry weather, but livestock were stressed from the heat.


By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Temperatures on the first and last day of the week were slightly below normal with hotter than normal weather in-between. Daytime highs were mostly in the eighties on Sunday (2nd), Friday (7th) and Saturday (8th). Temperatures in the nineties prevailed over most of the state on Thursday (6th) with a mix of eighties and nineties for the rest of the week. Temperature extremes varied from a Saturday (8th) morning low of 52 degrees at Cresco to Thursday (6th) afternoon highs of 97 degrees at Sioux City and Little Sioux. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged within a degree of normal over the east to one to three degrees above normal over the west with a statewide average of 1.3 degrees above normal. Isolated thunderstorms were scattered across the state each afternoon and evening from Sunday (2nd) through Wednesday (5th) and again over the southeast on Friday (7th) morning. Dry weather prevailed on Thursday (6th), Saturday (8th) and through the daylight hours on Sunday (9th). About one-third of the state, concentrated over the north, received no rain at all during the week while a few scattered small areas picked up over an inch of rain. The week’s highest rain total of 1.70 inches was reported just south of Arthur in Ida County and mainly fell on the evening of the Fourth. The statewide average precipitation was 0.22 inches while normal for the week is 1.07 inches. A widespread area of rain fell late Sunday (9th) into Monday (10th) morning (one to two inches common) along and east of a Mason City to Burlington line but came too late to be reflected in this week’s weather and crop statistics.

In the Forest City area, the average high was 83.7 degrees, which is 1.4 degrees higher than the normal of 82.3 degrees for the month of July. Our lows were 61 degrees which were 1.1 degrees lower than the normal f 62.1 degree for July.

Precipitation for July is well below normal by nearly an inch. The area has seen .56 inches of rain for July when the normal is really 1.47 inches. This leaves the area .91 inches of rain below normal for the month. The area’s next chance for rain comes Tuesday and then again on Thursday.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply