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Despite heavy rain in some areas, Iowa's 2016 crops look good overallDespite heavy rain in some areas, Iowa's 2016 crops look good overall

Statewide survey shows 83% of Iowa corn and 82% of soybeans rate good to excellent at end of August.

Rod Swoboda 1

August 31, 2016

4 Min Read

Unfortunately, the heavy rains that rolled through northeast Iowa last week caused significant flooding and continue to create challenges for farmers and the communities where the flooding was worst. But, in general Iowa’s 2016 corn and soybean crops continue to move towards maturity and remain in pretty good condition. USDA’s latest survey, based on conditions as of August 28, show 83% of the state’s corn and 82% of the soybeans are rated good to excellent.


In comparison to Iowa, the U.S. corn crop is rated 75% good to excellent at the end of August. The Illinois corn crop has improved, while corn crops in Indiana and Ohio as of August 28 slipped from the previous week’s survey in those states. The nation’s soybean crop is rated 73% good to excellent, with improvements noted in Indiana and Michigan, and minor slippage in Indiana.

The complete Iowa Crop Progress and Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship’s website at IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:

CROP REPORT: Above normal rainfall resulted in just 4.1 days suitable for fieldwork across Iowa during the week ending August 28, 2016, according to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. Activities for the week included chopping corn for silage and planting cover crops. Producers continued to cut hay when conditions were dry enough.

Corn is starting to reach maturity, notably in southern Iowa

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 4% short, 83% adequate and 12% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 7% short, 82% adequate and 10% surplus. Ponding and flooding of some fields were reported in the northern two-thirds of Iowa.

The survey shows 94% of the state’s 2016 corn crop had reached the dough stage or beyond as of August 28. That’s eight days ahead of the five-year average, with 65% dented or beyond, five days ahead of both last year and normal. Corn was starting to mature, most notably in the southern third of Iowa. Corn condition rated 83% good to excellent despite some reports of crop damage from heavy rain and wind during the week. Soybeans setting pods reached 96%, four days ahead of last year.

Sudden death and white mold disease hitting some bean fields

About 13% of Iowa soybeans have started to turn color, three days ahead of last year’s pace. Soybean condition rated 82% good to excellent, although there were reports of sudden death and white mold in some soybean fields. Oats harvested for grain or seed was virtually complete.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 73% complete, a week ahead of last year. Pasture condition rated 64% good to excellent. Livestock conditions were normal although higher insect numbers and muddy feedlots were reported in some areas of the state.

Heavy rain and flooding took a toll in parts of northeast Iowa

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ended Aug. 28, 2016

By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

The big weather news this past week was the torrential rains and flooding over far northeast Iowa on Tuesday (Aug. 23) into Wednesday (Aug. 24) morning. Widespread rain amounts of greater than four inches were common from Worth County eastward to Allamakee County and on into southwest Wisconsin. Heaviest rains were centered in Winneshiek County where 8.46 inches fell overnight at a location five miles southeast of Decorah. Record flooding occurred along portions of the Upper Iowa and Turkey rivers.

Rainfall statewide averaged above normal, temperature normal

Rain fell nearly statewide Tuesday night but with highly variable amounts. Another, much smaller area of excessive rain, fell across east central Nebraska and edged into southwest Harrison County where De Soto Bend National Wildlife Refuge picked up 5.38 inches. Otherwise there were thunderstorms scattered across the southern one-third to one-half of Iowa on Wednesday night and over much of Iowa on Friday night (Aug. 26) night into Saturday (Aug. 27) morning. Additional thunderstorms developed over the southern one-third of the state Sunday (Aug. 28) evening but largely fell too late to be reflected in this week’s crop statistics.

Rain totals for the week varied from none over a small area extending from Onawa to just northwest of Sac City to 8.95 inches 5 miles southeast of Decorah. The statewide average precipitation was 1.19 inches, a little above the weekly normal of 0.91 inches. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged right at normal. The warmest weather came on Sunday (Aug. 28) with highs reaching 91 degrees at Bellevue and Burlington while Monday (Aug. 22) and Friday (Aug. 26) were the coolest days. Elkader reported the week’s lowest temperature with a Monday morning low of 48 degrees.

About the Author(s)

Rod Swoboda 1

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Rod, who has been a member of the editorial staff of Wallaces Farmer magazine since 1976, was appointed editor of the magazine in April 2003. He is widely recognized around the state, especially for his articles on crop production and soil conservation topics, and has won several writing awards, in addition to honors from farm, commodity and conservation organizations.

"As only the tenth person to hold the position of Wallaces Farmer editor in the past 100 years, I take seriously my responsibility to provide readers with timely articles useful to them in their farming operations," Rod says.

Raised on a farm that is still owned and operated by his family, Rod enjoys writing and interviewing farmers and others involved in agriculture, as well as planning and editing the magazine. You can also find Rod at other Farm Progress Company activities where he has responsibilities associated with the magazine, including hosting the Farm Progress Show, Farm Progress Hay Expo and the Iowa Master Farmer program.

A University of Illinois grad with a Bachelors of Science degree in agriculture (ag journalism major), Rod joined Wallaces Farmer after working several years in Washington D.C. as a writer for Farm Business Incorporated.

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