Home   News

Northey Comments on Iowa Crops and Weather Report

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.

“Nearly the entire state continued to receive needed moisture this past week, but the cool wet weather prevented pretty much all field work in the state,” Northey said.  “Farmers are starting to get anxious to get in the field, but if we do get some warm dry weather there is still time to get crops planted in a timely manner.”

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 in Iowa during the week ending April 21, 2013 continued to limit fieldwork according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Snow was received in northern Iowa, while precipitation was mostly rain in southern Iowa. The additional moisture did help to improve both top and subsoil moisture levels. Statewide there was an average of 0.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 6 percent short, 60 percent adequate and 31 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 14 percent very short, 32 percent short and 48 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus.

Oat planting was 22 percent complete, far behind last year’s 93 percent and the five-year average of 68 percent.

Pasture and range condition rated 18 percent very poor, 27 percent poor, 38 percent fair and 15 percent good and 2 percent excellent. Spring calving losses were higher than normal due to the wet and cool weather.


By Allan Curtis, Assistant Climatologist, Midwestern Regional Climate Center
The past week varied greatly across the state for both temperature and precipitation. Precipitation was widespread early in the week, predominantly on Wednesday (17th) and Thursday (18th), with areas in south-central, southeast, and east-central Iowa receiving widespread totals of 4-5 inches or more of rain. The greatest rainfall totals during the week came from Pella with 8.71 inches, and the greatest 1-day total was 6.76 inches in Centerville on Wednesday (17th). While rain fell early in the week for most of Iowa, snow fell in northwest Iowa late Wednesday (17th) through Thursday (18th). The resulting snowfall totals were in the neighborhood of 4-6 inches in northwest Iowa including 8 inches reported over two days, Wednesday (17th) and Thursday (18th), in Sibley. The statewide precipitation for the week was one of the wetter ones in recent history with 2.79 inches, nearly tripling the normal of 0.96 inches.

Temperatures across the state were well below normal with the western half of Iowa taking the brunt of the unseasonably cold temperatures to the tune of 12 to 15 degrees below normal for the week. Statewide, the average temperature was 39.3 degrees, 12.1 degrees below normal. Southeast Iowa was the closest to normal at -8.7 degrees below normal. The worst of the cold came mid-week when large areas of western Iowa saw temperatures as much as 20 degrees below normal. All of the warmest temperatures during the week occurred on Monday (15th) or over the weekend, Saturday (20th) and Sunday (21st), when temperatures were in the mid-70s. The highest temperature was 77 degrees at Mt. Pleasant on Monday (15th) and the lowest temperature was 11 degrees at Sibley on Saturday (20th).

Four inch soil temperatures during week averaged in the upper 30’s in the northwest to the upper 40’s in the southeast as of Sunday (21st). One day soil temperatures, as of Sunday (21st), showed temperatures recovering from the mid-week chill with low 40’s in the northwest ranging to low 50’s in the southeast.

Source: Iowa Agriculture

Trending Video

India Emerges As Land Of Opportunity For U.S. Producers

Video: India Emerges As Land Of Opportunity For U.S. Producers

A recent trip to India helps provide insight on areas of strength and improvement while providing opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers.