Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report

May 1 – 7, 2023

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig commented today on the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report is released weekly April through November. Additionally, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship provides a weather summary each week during this time.

“Over the last week, farmers made significant planting progress before late-week thunderstorms brought much needed moisture along with unwanted hail and high winds,” said Secretary Naig. “Rain chances continue this week, but weather outlooks through mid-May are shifting towards warmer temperatures and somewhat drier conditions.”

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

Crop Report

Mostly dry weather and warmer temperatures meant Iowa farmers had 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 7, 2023, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Conditions allowed farmers to make significant strides planting corn, soybeans, and oats.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 6 percent very short, 27 percent short, 64 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 8 percent very short, 33 percent short, 56 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus.

Forty-one percent of Iowa’s expected corn crop was planted during the week ending May 7, 2023, resulting in 70 percent planted, 12 days ahead of last year and 1 week ahead of the 5-year average. Six percent of the corn crop has emerged, 6 days ahead of last year but a day behind average. One-third of Iowa’s expected soybean crop was planted during the week ending May 7, 2023, for a total of 49 percent planted, 11 days ahead of last year and just over a week ahead of the average. Ninety-six percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, just over 2 weeks ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of normal. Oat emergence, at 61 percent, moved from being behind normal a week ago to 9 days ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of the 5-year average.

The first hay condition rating of the season was 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 52 percent good and 10 percent excellent. Pasture condition rated 43 percent good to excellent. Some cattlemen were still waiting for pastures to put on more growth before turning out their cattle.

Weather Summary

Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Iowans experienced ideal conditions for field work and planting during much of the reporting period. A late-week active storm track brought widespread rainfall along with severe thunderstorms. Even with widespread wetness, unseasonably dry conditions persisted. Temperatures were more variable than the previous week with warmer conditions north to cooler readings south; in between, near-normal behavior with the statewide average temperature coming in at 56.0 degrees, 0.1 degree above normal. A cut-off low pressure center over the Great Lakes dominated the weather pattern as it spun showers into eastern Iowa through Sunday (30th) afternoon. Daytime highs varied from the mid-40s east, where clouds and rain were present, to the upper 50s west under clearing skies. Very strong northwesterly winds built in through the day with sustained speeds in the 30-40 mph range and gusts above 50 mph; Spencer Municipal Airport (Clay County) observed a 59-mph wind gust. Clouds quickly diminished overnight with Monday (1st) morning lows in the upper 30s and low 40s. After a brief lull in stronger winds, speeds increased through the afternoon hours with upper 50s and low 60s reported under sunny skies. A band of clouds moved north to south across Iowa into early Tuesday (2nd) morning, though starry skies were visible for most of the night. Strong northwesterly winds persisted with pleasant temperatures in the low to mid-60s. Winds finally died down before sunset on Wednesday (3rd) with morning lows in the low 30s north to upper 30s south under cloudless skies. Daytime highs pushed into the upper 60s and low 70s with light and variable winds and clear skies. Temperatures on Thursday (4th) afternoon were several degrees warmer, hitting the low 80s at multiple stations after morning temperatures bottomed out in the 40s with winds shifting to the south under clear conditions.

Spotty thundershowers formed in extreme northwest Iowa later in the night with a more widespread shield of rainfall forming Friday (5th) morning. The sluggish disturbance moved across central and eastern Iowa where temperatures held in the low to mid-60s. A second band of stronger storms pushed through northern Iowa prior to sunrise on Saturday (6th) before fizzling out around noon. Rain totals were highest in west-central Iowa where several stations measured at least an inch with widespread 0.25 – 0.50 inch totals over Iowa’s middle west-to-east one-third; the statewide average rainfall was 0.40 inch. Southerly winds boosted daytime temperatures into the upper 70s and low 80s over southern Iowa where southerly winds brought in higher dewpoints. A few severe-warned cells fired in southwest Iowa before diving across the Missouri border. Additional severe thunderstorms formed several hours later and overnight into Sunday (7th) in southeastern Iowa. These storms brought locally heavy downpours along with hail and straight-line wind reports across Van Buren, Henry and Lee counties. Many stations in southeastern counties also measured totals from 0.40 inch at Columbus Junction (Louisa County) to 1.17 inches in Augusta (Lee County). Heavy dew and dense fog were observed at 7:00 am over much of the state with cloudy skies and lows in the upper 50s to mid-60s.

Weekly precipitation totals ranged from no accumulation at several Iowa stations to 1.76 inches at Redfield (Dallas County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.50 inch while the normal is 0.89 inch. Little Sioux (Harrison County) and Sioux City Municipal Airport (Woodbury County) reported the week’s high temperature of 86 degrees on the 4th, on average 18 degrees above normal. Chariton (Lucas County) and Vinton (Benton County) reported the week’s low temperature of 25 degrees on the 3rd, on average 16 degrees below normal. Four-inch soil temperatures were in the upper 50s north to mid-60s south as of Sunday.