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Tuesday, May 26, 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.

“Planting progress continues, but the wet weather has slowed it considerably from the record pace at the start of the season.  Much of the state remains at or ahead of the five-year average, but the Southwest part of the state has been challenged by wet conditions and as a result planting has lagged behind.  Farmers across the state are anxious to finish planting and move on to spraying and other field work,” 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:


Wet conditions continued, delaying planting and allowing only 2.8 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the week ending May 24, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Cattle producers had concerns about muddy feedlots while crop farmers experienced spraying delays. Farmers are evaluating the need to replant corn in low-lying areas.

Topsoil moisture levels increased to 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 23 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus. Only southeast Iowa had any topsoil reported as being very short on moisture. Southwest Iowa had the highest subsoil moisture rating at 99 adequate to surplus.

Ninety-six percent of the corn crop has been planted, 1 day ahead of last year, and 3 days ahead of the 5-year average. Southwest Iowa remains well behind the other districts with just 81 percent planted, while northwest, north central and central Iowa are virtually complete. Corn emerged reached 81 percent, 6 days ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of normal. The first corn condition rating of the season was 0 percent very poor, 1 percent poor, 20 percent fair, 63 percent good, and 16 percent excellent. Soybean planting reached 70 percent complete, behind last year’s pace for the first time this year. Thirty-two percent of the soybean crop has emerged, slightly ahead of last year and normal. With emergence nearly complete, oat conditions improved slightly with 82 percent good to excellent.

The first cutting of alfalfa hay advanced to 11 percent completed. Hay conditions improved slightly to 81 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition also improved to 74 percent good to excellent. Muddy conditions in pastures and feedlots have stressed livestock in some areas.


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

The past reporting week began with unseasonably cool weather prevailing from Monday (18th) through Friday (22nd). Daytime high temperatures were only in the mid-forties over parts of northern Iowa on Monday and Wednesday. Afternoon temperatures climbed into the seventies over most of the state on Thursday and Friday while overnight lows remained unseasonably low. Temperatures edged slightly above normal across most of the state over the weekend. Temperature extremes ranged from a Thursday morning low of 33 degrees at Belle Plaine to a Sunday (24th) afternoon high of 81 degrees at Donnellson. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 6.5 degrees below normal. Meanwhile, there was scattered light rain on Sunday (17th) with some isolated higher amounts over parts of north central Iowa. Dry weather prevailed in most areas on Monday and Tuesday with light rain over much of Iowa on Wednesday. All of Iowa was dry on Thursday while light rain fell across far western areas of the state on Friday and Saturday. Rain fell over all of Iowa on Sunday (24th) to close out the reporting week, but with some of this rain coming too late to be reflected in this week’s report. Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.03 inches at Cresco and Marquette to 1.71 inches at Britt and 1.55 inches at Mount Ayr. The statewide average precipitation was 0.45 inches while normal for the week is 1.05 inches.


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