Northey comments on Iowa Crops and Weather Report

Staff Writer
Tri-County Times

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey this week 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.

“In general, crops continue to make good progress statewide and maturity remains ahead of the five-year average. The storm systems that rolled across the state have brought some needed moisture, but the storms did bring strong winds that did cause isolated crop damage as well,” 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:


Hit or miss rains allowed Iowa farmers 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending July 10, 2016, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included herbicide and insecticide applications to soybeans and second cutting of hay. There were scattered reports of crop damage due to strong winds and hail.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 5 percent very short, 19 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 17 percent short, 75 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus. South central and southeast Iowa were the driest areas of the State with 49 percent rated short to very short on subsoil moisture.

Twenty-nine percent of the corn crop had reached the silking stage. Corn condition rated 79 percent good to excellent. Soybeans blooming reached 40 percent, 2 days ahead of both last year and the five-year average. Six percent of soybeans were setting pods, 4 days ahead of normal. Soybean condition rated 77 percent good to excellent this week. Nearly all of the State’s oat crop was headed. Oat acreage turning color reached 75 percent, with 16 percent of the oat crop harvested for grain or seed, 4 days ahead of last year. The statewide oat crop condition rating was unchanged from last week at 80 percent good to excellent.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 67 percent, more than 2 weeks ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of the average. The third cutting of alfalfa hay got underway this week. Hay condition was rated at 72 percent good to excellent, while pasture condition rated 61 percent good to excellent. Livestock were generally reported to be in good condition, benefiting from cooler temperatures.


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

The crop reporting week began with a dry and unseasonably cool Fourth of July with daytime high temperatures mostly in the seventies. However, heat and humidity made a very rapid return on Tuesday (5th) with highs in the mid-eighties northeast to mid-nineties southwest. The highest humidity levels of the year pushed the heat index to 115 degrees at Red Oak where the dew point reached an extremely high 84 degrees. Thunderstorms brought rain to most of the east one-half of Iowa, plus west central Iowa, late on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning. Heavy rain fell in east central Iowa with these storms where two to three inch amounts were common from Cedar Rapids to Clinton and Davenport. Wednesday was another very warm day but not nearly as humid as Tuesday with highs in the low eighties east to low nineties west. Thunderstorms dampened nearly all of Iowa between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. The Wednesday night rainfall brought one-half to one and one-half inches of rain to almost all of Iowa, but largely missed east central Iowa where heavy rain fell the previous night. Additionally these storms brought numerous reports of high winds, especially in west central and north central Iowa. There were some scattered thunderstorms across the northwest one-half of the state on Thursday (7th) afternoon with a few isolated reports of large hail. Dry weather with near-seasonal temperatures prevailed statewide on Friday and Saturday. Finally, showers and thunderstorms moved across about the northeast one-half of Iowa on Sunday (10th) morning. Temperature extremes for the week varied from a Monday (4th) morning low of 49 degrees at Elkader to a Tuesday (5th) afternoon high of 95 degrees at Sidney. Temperatures for the week averaged slightly below normal northeast to slightly above normal southwest with a statewide average of 0.3 degrees below normal. Weekly rain totals varied from 0.62 inches at Orange City and 0.65 inches at Iowa City Airport to 4.14 inches at Lowden. The statewide average rain total was 1.71 inches while normal for the week is 1.07 inches.