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Monday, October 17, 2016

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.

“Iowa’s corn and soybean harvest is moving forward, but remains fairly slow due to the damp weather and periodic rain,” Northey said.  “The 33 percent of corn and 62 percent of beans that have been combined remain behind the 5-year average. Several days of dry weather would be very helpful and allow farmers to make significant progress on both corn and bean harvest.”

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:


Fieldwork was slowed by damp, foggy conditions but farmers were able to make some harvest progress during the 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending October 16, 2016, according the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Many farmers reported waiting for crops to dry down in the field before harvesting and concentrating on corn rather than soybeans. Other activities for the week included fall tillage, manure and fertilizer applications, and seeding of cover crops.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 82 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus.

Ninety-seven percent of the corn crop was mature or beyond, 3 days behind last year, but 1 day ahead of the five-year average. Thirty-three percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, 4 days behind last year and almost one week behind average. Moisture content of field corn being harvested was at 18 percent. Corn condition rated 82 percent good to excellent. Ninety-six percent of soybeans were dropping leaves or beyond, equal to the five-year average. Sixty-two percent of soybeans have been harvested, 6 days behind last year’s pace.

Pasture condition was rated 62 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were described as good.


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

The past reporting week began and ended with unseasonably warm weather with the coldest weather thus far this autumn sandwiched in between. Most noteworthy was a nearly statewide freeze on Thursday (13th) morning. A hard freeze effectively ended the growing season over most of the northwest one-half of Iowa with temperatures falling as low as 24 degrees at Mapleton. The far southeast corner of the state, plus areas near the Mississippi River and scattered upland and urban locations in the southern one-third of Iowa, escaped the freeze. A few locations in far northeast Iowa also recorded a freeze the next morning (Friday). Meanwhile daytime high temperatures were mostly in the seventies on Tuesday (11th), Saturday (15th) and Sunday (16th). Donnellson and Keosauqua recorded the week’s highest temperatures with 84 degree readings on Sunday. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 1 to 3 degrees above normal over the northwest and 3 to 6 degrees warmer than normal over the southeast with a statewide average of 4.2 degrees above normal. Rain occurred fairly frequently over the past week, however, rain totals were on the light side in most areas. Light to moderate rain fell across the southeast two-thirds of Iowa from Monday (10th) evening into Tuesday (11th) morning with heaviest rains in south central and southwest Iowa where College Springs (Page County) reporting the most rain with 0.77 inches. Light rain was scattered over much of Iowa on Wednesday (12th) with some heavier rain over the extreme southeast where Montrose (Lee County) picked up 0.90 inches. Mostly light rain fell over the southeast two-thirds of the state on Saturday (15th) into Sunday (16th) morning although a band of one-half to one inch of rain fell from Cedar Rapids to Dubuque. Weekly rain totals varied from only a trace at Rock Rapids and Swea City (Kossuth County) to 1.14 inches at the Cedar Rapids Airport. The statewide average precipitation was 0.24 inches while normal for the week is 0.57 inches. Soil temperatures at the four inch depth were averaging in the mid-fifties over the extreme northwest corner of Iowa to the mid-sixties over the southeast as of Sunday (16th).


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