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Monday, April 20, 2015

Contact: Dustin Vande Hoef
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)


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.

“A lot of field work was done last week and many farmers were able to get a start on corn planting, with 7 percent now planted.  The rain this weekend was welcomed in most of the state and is helping to replenish soil moisture levels and green up pastures,” 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:


A productive week of fieldwork was halted by weekend rains in Iowa during the week ending April 19, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included manure hauling, tillage, oat seeding, anhydrous application, and some corn planting.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 13 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 18 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus. North central Iowa reported the highest topsoil moisture level with 98 percent in adequate to surplus, while west central and north central Iowa reported the highest subsoil moisture levels with both at 90 percent adequate to surplus.

Seven percent of the corn acreage has been planted, 4 days ahead of last year, but equal to the 5-year average. Nearly one-third of the State’s expected oat crop was planted during the week, third highest percentage seeded for the third week of April in 20 years. Seventy-four percent of the oat crop has been planted, over two weeks ahead of last year, and one week ahead of the average. Oats emerged reached 21 percent, one week ahead of last year, but fractionally behind normal.

Pasture condition improved to 52 percent good to excellent. Pastures continued to green up, with reports coming out of central Iowa of cows being moved to pasture. Livestock conditions were reported as good.


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

A pair of storm systems brought widespread rain to Iowa this past reporting week. The first event from late Sunday (12th) into Monday (13th) morning brought a statewide average of 0.34 inches of rain with largest amounts along the Missouri border, where a few locations received over an inch, and least along the Minnesota border. The other event began Saturday (18th) morning over southwest Iowa and continued into Monday (20th) morning over eastern Iowa. This second event brought a statewide average of 1.17 inches of rain with an inch or more falling over a broad area from southwest, through central, into parts of north central Iowa. Much lesser amounts fell over the far northwest corner of the state and near the Illinois border. There was also some very light rainfall over southwest and west central Iowa on Wednesday (15th). Rain totals for the week varied from 0.15 inches at Lester (Lyon County) to 2.93 inches at Bedford. The statewide average precipitation for the week as a whole was 1.51 inches while normal for the period is 0.85 inches. Meanwhile, temperatures were above normal throughout the week with warmest readings from Thursday (16th) through Saturday (18th), but with unseasonably mild readings persisting into Sunday (19th) over far eastern Iowa. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 7.8 degrees above normal. Nevertheless, a freeze was recorded over portions of Iowa on Tuesday (14th) morning with Elkader the cold spot at 27 degrees. On the other extreme temperatures reached 82 degrees at Donnellson (Lee County) on Friday (17th). Soil temperatures at the four inch depth as of Sunday (19th) were averaging in the low fifties northwest to low sixties far southeast but will be falling substantially with much cooler weather expected to persist throughout the coming week.



Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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