Northey Comments on Weekly Report

Written by on April 19, 2011 in News

Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 19 April 2011

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.

“The cool, wet weather has prevented farmers from making much progress and as a result only a very few corn fields have been planted,” Northey said. “Unfortunately, it looks like precipitation and cool weather again this week could limit the amount of planting that gets done the next few days.”

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 follows here:


Winter just doesn’t want to let go as areas of northern Iowa received snow again over the weekend. Cool, wet weather has slowed fieldwork for much of Iowa. Time was spent cleaning up debris left behind by tornadoes which struck the state April 9. Farmers are anxious for warm and dry weather so planting can begin in earnest.

There were 3.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the past week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 79 percent adequate, and 19 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 82 percent adequate, and 15 percent surplus.

Just 2 percent of Iowa’s corn acreage has been planted compared with 16 percent at this time last year and the average of 6 percent. Some corn was planted early in the week but as cooler weather arrived along with precipitation, most corn planting ceased. Oat acreage planted was 64 percent complete, behind last year’s 78 percent but ahead of the five-year average of 47 percent. Oat acreage emerged was 11 percent, trailing last year’s 25 percent but slightly ahead of normal.

Pasture and range condition rated 3 percent very poor, 13 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 41 percent good, and 7 percent excellent. Cool temperatures and cloudy skies have slowed pasture growth. Also, recent cold, wet weather has not been beneficial for newborn calves. Some cases of scours have been reported.


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

The past reporting week began with dry weather statewide on Monday (11th) and Tuesday (12th). Light rain moved into parts of northern and western Iowa Wednesday (13th) afternoon with widespread light to moderate rain across the western one-half of the state on Thursday (14th). Moderate to heavy rain fell statewide on Friday (15th) with the rain changing to, or mixing with, snow Friday night into Saturday morning with brief accumulations of around an inch over northeast and east central Iowa. Rain dampened all but extreme southern Iowa Sunday (17th) into Monday (18th) morning. The rain again changed to snow in some areas Sunday night with an inch or two briefly accumulating over the far northwest counties. Precipitation for the week was generally greatest in the west and least across the southeast with totals ranging from 0.36 inches at Burlington to 2.43 inches at Sioux City. The statewide average precipitation was 1.21 inches or about 50% above the weekly normal of 0.79 inches. This was Iowa’s wettest week in 23 weeks (early November). Meanwhile temperatures were five to ten degrees above normal on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, near normal on Thursday, and five to ten degrees below normal over the weekend. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 0.1 degrees above normal with extremes varying from a Tuesday afternoon high of 78 degrees at Sioux City to morning lows of 26 degrees at Fayette on Saturday and at Denison on Sunday. Soil temperatures were averaging in the low to mid 40s statewide as of Sunday (17th).

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