Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report + Weather Summary

Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report

June 19 – June 25, 2023

DES MOINES, Iowa (June 26, 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.

“Hot and dry conditions persisted much of last week until a shift in the weather pattern over the weekend brought beneficial and widespread rainfall across much of Iowa, including parts of the state impacted by continuing drought,” said Secretary Naig. “Weather outlooks into early July continue to show better chances of rainfall after several weeks of unseasonably dry conditions.”

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

Crop Report
Above average temperatures and below normal precipitation for the week led to 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 25, 2023, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field activities included cutting hay and spraying crops. The persistent dryness has led to many reports of visible crop stress; however, north central and northeast Iowa received some much-needed rain.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 22 percent very short, 45 percent short, 32 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 24 percent very short, 44 percent short, 31 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

Some reports of corn starting to silk were received this week. Corn condition continued to decline, rating 56 percent good to excellent. Ten percent of soybeans were blooming, 6 days ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of the 5-year average. Soybean condition dropped to 48 percent good to excellent. Ninety-five percent of the oat crop has headed, roughly 2 weeks ahead of last year and the average. Twenty-five percent of oats were turning color, roughly 1 week ahead of last year and normal. Oat condition declined to 47 percent good to excellent.

The State’s first cutting of alfalfa hay is virtually complete, and the second cutting reached 18 percent complete, 6 days ahead of both last year and the average. Hay condition declined to 32 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition rated just 23 percent good to excellent. Livestock producers continued to supplement with hay as pasture conditions deteriorated and reports were received about water supply concerns as some ponds and creeks continued to dry out.

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

Showers and strong to severe thunderstorms brought much-needed rainfall at the end of an unseasonably warm and dry reporting period. Many northern Iowa stations observed above-average totals while southern Iowa remained below average. Temperatures were up to six degrees above normal northwest with a statewide average temperature of 74.1 degrees, 2.1 degrees above normal.

Showers and thunderstorms spun across eastern Iowa through Sunday (18th) afternoon with mostly sunny conditions over the rest of the state. Daytime highs remained in the upper 70s and low 80s, though conditions were five to 10 degrees cooler under clouds. Locally heavier totals were reported in northeast Iowa, ranging from 2.23 inches in Independence (Buchanan County) to 2.43 inches near Decorah (Winneshiek County). General totals in eastern Iowa were in the 0.20- to 0.50-inch range. Foggy conditions were observed Monday (19th) morning with temperatures in the mid-50s to low 60s. Skies cleared through the day with southerly winds boosting highs into the upper 80s and low 90s. The large-scale flow shifted back to easterly as a dome of stable high pressure began to dominate the pattern on Tuesday (20th). Pockets of upper-level haze were pulled in by the clockwise flow with temperatures mirroring the previous day. Starry skies persisted into Wednesday (21st) with light easterly winds and morning lows in the mid to upper 60s. Partly cloudy conditions developed over southern Iowa with generally clear skies north as daytime highs rose into the 80s with pockets of low 90s. Overnight conditions were clear though Canadian wildfire smoke was visible at sunrise on Thursday (22nd). Temperatures, in the mid to upper 60s, were unseasonably warm, averaging two to seven degrees above normal. Variable winds and cloud cover developed through the day with upper 80s and low 90s persisting across the state.

Seasonal morning lows in the 60s greeted Iowans on Friday (23rd) with generally calm winds and clear skies. Winds began shifting to a southerly direction as a low-pressure center approached Iowa. Daytime highs ranged from the low 90s in southeastern and central Iowa to the upper 80s north as relative humidity increased from southerly moisture transport. Cloud cover increased in western Iowa after midnight as a line of strong thunderstorms entered Iowa’s northwest corner just before sunrise on Saturday (24th). The initial complex had moderate to localized heavy rainfall across northern Iowa through midday before dissipating in eastern Iowa. Additional thunderstorms fired in central Iowa with multiple cells becoming severe-warned; the second wave of storms consolidated into a line as it moved east with more reports of severe straight-line winds. A third complex of thunderstorms formed in northwestern Iowa, persisting into the early hours on Sunday (25th). A few of these thunderstorms breached the severe threshold with reports of hail and strong winds; an observer in Cylinder (Palo Alto County) reported 3.00-inch hail. Another powerful storm near Maysville (Scott County) dropped a brief tornado that caused sporadic tree damage. Event totals were widespread with beneficial rainfall occurring at most stations, especially over Iowa’s northern half; 55 stations measured at least an inch with more than half of the stations hitting the 0.50-inch mark. Observers in north-central and northeastern Iowa reported totals ranging from 2.00 inches in Ionia (Chickasaw County) to 2.75 inches in Zearing (Story County).

Weekly precipitation totals ranged from no accumulation at several stations to 3.60 inches in Mason City (Cerro Gordo County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.82 inch, while the normal is 1.07 inches. Washington (Washington County) reported the week’s high temperature of 95 degrees on the 24th, 12 degrees above normal. Forest City (Winnebago County) reported the week’s low temperature of 50 degrees on the 19th, nine degrees below normal.