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Monday, April 24, 2017

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 Crop Progress and Condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.  The report is released weekly from April through October.

“Fields started to dry as the week progress and more widespread corn planting started to get underway.  We now have 8 percent of corn and 69 percent of oats planted in the state, both of which are slightly behind the five-year average.  A run of dry weather would be very welcome at this point as farmers are anxious to get in the fields, but it looks like rain could return later this week,” 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 slowed planting progress early in the week ending April 23, 2017, but drier and warmer weather over the weekend allowed producers to plant corn and oats according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 2.9 days suitable for fieldwork. Other fieldwork activities included fertilizer and anhydrous applications, tillage, and burning down cover crops.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 20 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 3 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus.

Eight percent of the corn acreage has been planted, 9 days behind last year and 3 days behind the 5-year average. Sixty-nine percent of the State’s oat crop has been planted, over one week behind last year but just one day behind average. Oats emerged reached 26 percent. South central Iowa is the only area with less than half the oat crop planted.

Pasture condition improved to 74 percent good to excellent with pastures described as green and growing. Livestock conditions remain good and feedlots are improving.


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

The past week was the driest week in the past five weeks with rain confined to only Tuesday (18th) and Wednesday (19th). The heaviest rains, averaging between one inch and an inch and one-half fell in a band from west central into north central and northeast Iowa. Meanwhile, less than a tenth of an inch of rain fell over east central Iowa. Weekly rain totals varied from none or just sprinkles at locations such as Newton, Toledo, Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Iowa City to 1.97 inches north of Woodbine in Harrison County. The statewide average precipitation was 0.65 inches while normal for the week is 0.88 inches. Thunderstorms Wednesday evening with the passage of a strong cold front brought scattered reports of severe weather, mostly high winds, in seven counties from west central into northeast Iowa. Temperatures were well above normal into Wednesday (19th) with highs in the mid-sixties to mid-seventies on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday was the warmest day across southern Iowa where high temperatures reached into the low eighties; however, much colder air moved into northwest Iowa where temperatures never made it out of the forties. Friday (21st) was the coldest day in most areas with morning lows in the thirties and afternoon highs mostly in the fifties. Cool nights and warm days prevailed over the weekend with highs mostly in the sixties on Saturday (22nd) and seventies on Sunday (23rd). Light freezes were scattered across Iowa on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings with lowest temperatures of 29 degrees recorded at Cresco on Saturday and Grinnell on Sunday. Lamoni recorded the highest temperature of the week with an 84 degree reading on Wednesday. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 3.5 degrees above normal. Soil temperatures as of Sunday (23rd) were averaging near 50 degrees over extreme northwest Iowa to the mid to upper fifties elsewhere.



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