Ag Secretary Comments on Crop Progress and Condition Report

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.

“Farmers are approaching the end of the planting season and the earliest planted corn and soybeans are emerging,” said Secretary Naig. “While much of the state received rainfall last week, it wasn’t enough precipitation to improve the widespread drought conditions. The second half of May is projected to be warmer and wetter, and we need to see consistent rainfalls in the months ahead.”

The weekly report is also available on the USDA’s website at

Crop Report

Most of Iowa received some precipitation during the week ending May 16, 2021 according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week. Much of Iowa continues to need additional precipitation. Normal temperatures would also aid crop development. Field activities included planting, spraying, and applying anhydrous and dry fertilizer. Cleaning of terraces and fence rows was also reported.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 7% very short, 27% short, 61% adequate and 5% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 12% very short, 36% short, 48% adequate and 4% surplus. Nearly one-quarter of west central Iowa’s subsoil moisture level continues to be rated very short.

Planting of Iowa’s expected corn crop is winding down at 94% complete, almost 2 weeks ahead of the 5-year average. Only farmers in west central Iowa have over 10% of their corn crop left to plant. During the week ending May 16 corn emergence jumped 30 percentage points to 52%, 4 days ahead of normal. Eighty-three percent of the soybean crop has been planted, 18 days ahead of the five-year average. Farmers in southeast Iowa have approximately one-third of their soybean crop left to plant. Twenty-four percent of the expected soybean crop has emerged, 1 week ahead of normal. Eighty-eight percent of the oat crop has emerged with some reports of oats headed. Iowa’s oat condition rated 61% good to excellent.

Iowa’s hay condition rating was 54% good to excellent. Some farmers have started their first cutting of alfalfa. Pasture condition rated 42% good to excellent. No problems with livestock were reported.