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Monday, May 22, 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.

“Farmers took full advantage of the less than two and a half days suitable for field work to plant 7 percent of anticipated corn acres and 22 percent of soybean acres.  The spotty showers and sometimes heavy rains made it difficult to make much planting progress, especially in the later part of the week.  As we approach the end of May, farmers are very anxious to finish planting and we hope for agreeable conditions to allow that to happen,” 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:


Statewide, Iowa farmers had only 2.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 21, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Those few days came early in the week as rain throughout the rest of the week made conditions too wet for planters to enter the fields.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 65 percent adequate and 35 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 28 percent surplus.

Ninety-two percent of the corn crop has been planted, 3 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn emerged reached 59 percent, 4 days behind last year. The first corn condition rating of the season was 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 63 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Soybean planting reached 62 percent complete, 2 days behind last year but 1 day ahead of average. Fifteen percent of soybeans have emerged, 1 day behind average. Oat emergence reached 92 percent, 2 days ahead of average. Oat condition was rated 80 percent good to excellent.

The first cutting of alfalfa hay advanced to 8 percent complete. Hay conditions decreased slightly to 82 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition remained at 82 percent good to excellent. The week’s rain resulted in muddy feedlots again, stressing some cattle.

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

The reporting week began with dry and very warm weather on Sunday (14th) with afternoon highs in the eighties statewide. However, the remainder of the week brought frequent rain and several episodes of severe weather. Monday (15th) and Monday night brought thunderstorms to about the north one-third of the state. Rainfall amounts with these storms were mostly under one-half inch, however, severe weather in the form of hail and high winds were reported from 20 counties Monday evening into early Tuesday morning. Monday (15th) was very warm and humid with temperatures reaching 94 degrees at Shenandoah. Temperatures again climbed into the eighties statewide on Tuesday (16th) with thunderstorms erupting over about the northwest one-half of Iowa on Tuesday evening and night. Rainfall amounts of one to two inches were common with these Tuesday storms with high winds and large hail reported from 24 counties centered from west central across to north central Iowa. Wednesday (17th) was the most active weather day of the week with thunderstorms statewide. Severe weather, mostly high winds, were reported from 55 counties Wednesday evening, mostly across the east two-thirds of the state. Much cooler weather prevailed for the second one-half of the week. Thursday (18th) was dry during the daylight hours with high temperatures in the mid-fifties northwest to mid-seventies southeast. However, showers and thunderstorms brought statewide rain from Thursday night through Saturday (20th). Daytime highs were only in the forties and fifties on Friday. Sunday (21st) was mostly dry with highs in the upper forties northeast to mid-sixties southwest. Weekly rain totals varied from 0.76 inches near New London in Henry County to 5.78 inches near Mondamin in Harrison County. The statewide average precipitation was 2.56 inches or nearly two and one-half times the weekly normal of 1.05 inches. This was the highest weekly average in the state since the third week of August in 2015. Very warm weather early in the week was basically cancelled out with much colder weather during the second one-half of the week with a statewide average temperature of 0.2 degrees above normal. The week’s lowest temperatures were 36 degree readings at Sibley, Sioux Center and Sheldon on Sunday (21st) morning.


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