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Monday, October 5, 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.

“Iowa farmer were able to harvest a quarter of the state’s 10 million acres of soybeans last week and have now 32 percent of beans out of the field.  Thirteen percent of the state’s corn crop has also been harvested.  Both of those numbers will likely continue to grow rapidly as crops continue to dry down and even more farmers get into the field,” 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:


Mostly dry conditions allowed Iowa farmers to harvest one-quarter of the State’s soybean crop during the week ending October 4, 2015, according the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Fieldwork activities for the week included cutting hay and harvesting soybeans and corn for grain. In some areas, farmers are waiting for their crops to dry down before harvesting. There were also reports of manure being spread.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 6 percent short, 86 percent adequate, and 8 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 83 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.

Ninety percent of the corn crop was mature, 8 days ahead of last year, and 3 days ahead of the 5-year average. Thirteen percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, 10 days ahead of last year, but 8 days behind average. Moisture content of all corn being harvested was at 21 percent, down 3 percentage points from the previous week. Corn condition rated 80 percent good to excellent. Ninety-seven percent of soybeans were turning color or beyond, while 86 percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, 2 days ahead of normal. Thirty-two percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, one week ahead of last year, but 1 day behind average. Soybean condition rated 77 percent good to excellent.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay is 96 percent complete, 3 days ahead last year but 8 days behind the average. Pasture condition rated 65 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were described as excellent, with scattered reports of calves being weaned.


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

The past reporting week began with unseasonably high temperatures with afternoon maximums in the eighties over nearly all of Iowa on Monday (28th). A cold front moved across the state late Monday and into Tuesday and was followed by below normal temperatures for the remainder of the week. Daytime highs were mostly in the sixties from Wednesday (30th) through Saturday (3rd) with afternoon readings only in the fifties over much of eastern Iowa on Sunday (4th) owing to widespread cloud cover that day. Temperature extremes ranged from Monday afternoon highs of 86 degrees at Donnellson, Lamoni, Osceola, Perry and Sidney to morning lows of 32 degrees at Estherville on both Wednesday and Thursday. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 1.0 degrees below normal. Rain fell over all but a few far southeastern Iowa locations between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. This was the only rain event of the week. Greatest rain amounts, mostly in the one to two inch range, fell across the central one-third of the state from Monona and Harrison County east-northeastward to Clayton and Dubuque counties. The greatest rain total was a 2.73 inch amount north of Woodbine in Harrison County while no measurable rain fell at Centerville, Keosauqua and Albia. The statewide average precipitation was 0.57 inches while normal for the week is 0.70 inches. Soil temperatures at the four inch depth as of Sunday (4th) afternoon were averaging in the mid to upper fifties statewide. However, those readings are expected to climb this coming week with warmer weather on the way.





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