Iowa Crop Progress & Condition Report

Week of July 13-19, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa (July 20, 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.

“Portions of southern Iowa received some much needed rainfall over the last several days though western Iowa missed out on much of the moisture,” said Secretary Naig. “The heat also turned up across Iowa with heat indexes hitting the triple digits. Temperatures look moderate this week with additional chances of rain.”

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

Crop Progress

Although some areas of the State received over 3.0 inches of rain, statewide Iowa farmers had 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 19, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities included spraying, harvesting hay and grain movement.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 9% very short, 20% short, 69% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 6% very short, 19% short, 73% adequate and 2% surplus.

Corn silking or beyond reached 69%, 9 days ahead of the previous year and 3 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn in the dough stage reached 6%, 8 days ahead of the previous year and 4 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn condition rated 80% good to excellent. Soybeans blooming reached 74%, 2 weeks ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of average. Soybeans setting pods reached 29%, just over 2 weeks ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 79% good to excellent. Oats turning color reached 90%, 8 days ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of the average. Oats harvested for grain reached 24%, 5 days ahead of last year but 1 day behind the average. Oat condition rated 81% good to excellent.

Alfalfa hay second cutting reached 76%, 9 days ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of the average. Hay condition rated 68% good to excellent. Pasture condition rated 56% good to excellent. Heat stress and increased insect populations continue to affect livestock.

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

A combination of unseasonably cool and warm days during the reporting period led to near normal temperatures across Iowa. The statewide average temperature was 74.6 degrees, 0.7 degrees below normal. While above average rain was reported in Iowa’s southern one-third, dryness persisted over the rest of the state, near an inch below average. West-central Iowa continued to experience the driest conditions with precipitation deficits continuing to accumulate.

Partly to mostly sunny skies persisted through Sunday (12th) as a high pressure center sat over the Midwest. Daytime temperatures remained seasonal, in the low to mid 80s, with light northerly winds. Overnight lows reported on Monday (13th) dipped into the low 60s under starry skies and light, variable winds. With some mid-level clouds moving over parts of Iowa, highs reached into
the mid-80s north to upper 80s south. Southerly winds were also gusty in western Iowa as the next weather system approached; cloud cover increased in northwestern Iowa as a weak cold front brought showers and thunderstorms into the early morning hours of Tuesday (14th). The front swept across the state as highs stayed in the 80s; temperatures remained in the low 70s in northwestern Iowa where clouds and rain were present. With warm and humid conditions in the state’s eastern half, strong thunderstorms fired in the late afternoon and sped east and southeast through the evening. Some storms in central Iowa turned severe with several reports of straight-line winds; widespread crop damage was observed around Sandyville (Marion County). There were also a few severe hail reports with two-inch diameter hail in Grimes (Polk County). A secondary low pressure system moving from Kansas into Missouri brought additional thunderstorms across southern Iowa with locally heavy rainfall.

The system persisted through Wednesday (15th) before pushing out of eastern Iowa during the evening hours. Highs behind the front were unseasonably cool, from low 70s in southeast Iowa to upper 70s in northwest Iowa; the statewide average high was 77 degrees, eight degrees below normal. Rain totals showed many of Iowa’s stations receiving measurable rainfall. Gauges across Iowa’s southern one-third reported widespread totals between 0.50 inch to over three inches. More than 100 stations observed an inch or more with locally heavier amounts in south-central Iowa; Creston (Union County) observed 3.08 inches while Ackworth (Warren County) reported 3.53 inches. The statewide average total was 0.72 inch with some stations in northwestern Iowa reporting no measurable rainfall. Morning lows on Thursday (16th) were well below average as a cooler air mass sat over the Midwest. Temperatures were in the upper 40s across north-central Iowa, gradually warming into the 50s farther south. The statewide average low was 56 degrees, six degrees cooler than normal. With high pressure and southerly winds, daytime temperatures on Friday (17th) rebounded into the upper 80s and low 90s. Spotty showers popped up in northwest and south central Iowa, though most of the state stayed dry. Another cold front pushed through Iowa during the day on Saturday (18th) bringing light to moderate rain across a southwest to northeast swath of Iowa. Hot and very muggy conditions were observed with highs pushing into the upper 80s to mid 90s; heat indices were also in the triple digits. Thunderstorms lingered in southeastern Iowa into Sunday (19th) as 24-hour reports generally showed a few tenths of an inch with locally heavier totals in the northeast.

Weekly precipitation totals ranged from no accumulation at multiple stations in western Iowa to 3.56 inches at Ackworth 2 SW. The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.75 inch while the normal is 1.02 inches. Little Sioux 2NW (Harrison County) reported the week’s high temperature of 98 degrees on the 18th, 12 degrees above normal. Mason City (Cerro Gordo County) reported the week’s low temperature of 44 degrees on the 16th, 17 degrees below normal. This reading ties with 1912 as the station’s record low temperature for the date.


About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 12 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land for the next generation. Learn more at