Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report

Week of July 20-26, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa (July 27, 2020) – 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.

“Drought conditions continued to expand across western Iowa over the last week,” said Secretary Naig. “Some parts of the drought region did receive much needed rainfall. Forecasts show we should expect seasonal temperatures and additional chances of isolated storms through the last week of July.”

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

Crop Progress

Another week with primarily spotty rains meant farmers had 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 26, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities included spraying, harvesting hay and grain movement. Aerial application of fungicides was also reported.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 11% very short, 27% short, 59% adequate and 3% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 6% very short, 26% short, 65% adequate and 3% surplus. West central Iowa topsoil and subsoil moisture supplies are the lowest in the State with well over half considered short to very short.

Corn silking or beyond reached 87%, 12 days ahead of the previous year and 3 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn in the dough stage reached 23%, 10 days ahead of the previous year and 4 days ahead of the average. Corn condition rated 77% good to excellent. Soybeans blooming reached 85%, just over 2 weeks ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of average. Soybeans setting pods reached 50%, just over 2 weeks ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 76% good to excellent. Oats turning color reached 95%, 4 days ahead of last year and 1 day ahead of the average. Oats harvested for grain reached 56%, 1 week ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of the average. Oat condition rated 73% good to excellent.

Alfalfa hay second cutting reached 84%, 8 days ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of the average. Hay condition rated 69% good to excellent. Pasture condition rated 51% good to excellent. Some pastures are going dormant due to lack of adequate rain.

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

Warmer than normal conditions were reported in Iowa’s western half while near to slightly cooler temperatures were observed across parts of eastern Iowa over the reporting period. The statewide average temperature was 74.9 degrees, 1.0 degree above normal. Scattered showers and thunderstorms brought measurable rain across much of the state, though some stations missed out. Overall, drier than normal conditions were observed statewide with departures between 0.50 inch to one inch.

Showers and thunderstorms continued to move through southern Iowa over the late morning hours of Sunday (19th). Some storms turned severe as they pushed through Henry and Des Moines counties, where multiple incidents of severe straight-line winds were reported. Skies cleared in the afternoon as temperatures remained seasonal, generally in the low to mid 80s. Clouds increased overnight into Monday (20th) as a small disturbance pushed into southwestern Iowa. Rainfall reported at 7:00 am was highest in Iowa’s southern corners; a gauge in Sidney (Fremont County) observed 1.14 inches while New London (Henry County) reported 1.12 inches. Rain amounts along the southern half of the Iowa-Nebraska border were around a few tenths of an inch. The system continued over the state with some lingering showers across eastern Iowa. Much of Iowa’s southern two-thirds reported measurable totals with the southwest accumulating between 0.25 inch to 0.75 inch; amounts tapered off to under 0.20 inch farther north and east. Morning lows on Tuesday (21st) ranged from the low 60s north to low 70s in the southeast. Scattered thundershowers popped up through the day in advance of a cold front that swept across Iowa. Daytime highs remained pleasant and a few degrees below normal, generally in the upper 70s and low 80s; western Iowa reported some mid 80s with the statewide average high of 81 degrees, three degrees below normal. Much of the state reported rainfall amounts between 0.20 inch to 0.50 inch with several gauges in Muscatine and Scott counties observing over an inch; the statewide average total was 0.21 inch.

Wednesday (22nd) morning was cooler than average behind the front with clear skies and northwesterly winds. Temperatures ranged from the mid 50s to mid 60s with a statewide average low of 60 degrees, four degrees below normal. Partly to mostly sunny skies and seasonal afternoon temperatures produced a pleasant day statewide. Clouds increased in western Iowa early Thursday (23rd) as spotty thunderstorms moved into west-central Iowa in the early afternoon. Rain totals were typically under 0.25 inch though there were pockets of higher amounts where thunderstorms persisted; Kinsley (Plymouth County) reported 0.75 inch. Afternoon temperatures stayed in the low to mid 80s under sunny skies and a southerly wind. Muggy conditions returned for the end of the week as highs on Friday (24th) pushed into the upper 80s and low 90s. Overnight lows did not fall much, remaining in the upper 60s to mid 70s with the average low of 70 degrees, six degrees above normal. Showers skirted the Iowa-Minnesota border through Saturday (25th) as hot conditions persisted. Heat indices reached into the triple digits with partly sunny skies and gusty southerly winds. A second system entered northwest Iowa on Sunday (26th) morning with scattered thunderstorms. Totals at 7:00 am ranged from 0.01 inch at Sioux City Airport (Woodbury County) to 0.38 inch in Swea City (Kossuth County).

Weekly precipitation totals ranged from no accumulation at stations in northeastern Iowa to 2.25 inches in New London (Henry County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.37 inch while the normal is 0.98 inch. Perry (Dallas County) reported the week’s high temperature of 96 degrees on the 24th, 11 degrees above normal. Fayette (Fayette County) reported the week’s low temperature of 51 degrees on the 23rd, 10 degrees below normal.