Farm Progress

As harvest wraps up, USDA's Iowa office issues final weekly crop progress report for this year.

Rod Swoboda 1, Editor, Wallaces Farmer

November 29, 2016

3 Min Read

Fieldwork across much of Iowa was winding down and wrapping up in many parts of the state during the week ending November 27, 2016. That’s according to the Iowa office of USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service in its statewide survey released yesterday. For Iowa there were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork last week.

This is the last weekly survey of crop progress and conditions that will be conducted for 2016. It showed there was farm fieldwork being accomplished—when conditions were dry enough. Activities included harvesting the last remaining acres of corn, along with installing drainage tile, baling corn stalks, hauling and spreading manure, and some anhydrous application.


Good supplies of subsoil moisture in Iowa going into winter

Topsoil moisture levels rated 2% very short, 9% short, 84% adequate and 5% surplus statewide last week. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2% very short, 8% short, 83% adequate and 7% surplus.

Corn harvested for grain was virtually finished in Iowa at 99% complete as of November 27. That’s equal to both the previous year and the 5-year average. Rainfall during the week hampered producers in southwest and south central Iowa as they tried to finish their corn and soybean harvest. 

Farmers are hauling less grain from farms to elevators

Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 40% moderate to heavy, down 11% from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability was rated 63% adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was rated 60% adequate to surplus.

“This is the final weekly Crop Progress and Condition Report for 2016,” says Greg Thessen, director of the USDA/NASS office in Des Moines. “Thanks to everyone who reported for our weekly publication this year,” he adds. This winter, monthly reports will be available and can be accessed at The weekly Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Reports will resume on April 3, 2017. 

Iowa last week had its first statewide rainfall in four weeks

Wet conditions last week, caused by both early and late week rains, left cattle feedlots muddy, causing stress to livestock.

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ended November 27, 2016

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

Iowa had its first statewide rain event in four weeks and it occurred from Monday (Nov. 21) night into Wednesday (Nov. 23) morning. Rain amounts of one-half to one inch were common over about the northwest one-half Iowa, while the southeast saw lesser amounts between sprinkles and one-half inch. A small area of west central into central Iowa also saw some light rain of under one-tenth of an inch on Thursday (Nov. 24).

Weekly rain totals varied from just trace amounts at Mount Pleasant and Eldon to 1.37 inches at Perry. The statewide average rainfall was 0.60 inches while normal for the week is 0.42 inches. Rain also fell statewide on Sunday (Nov. 27), averaging about one-half inch, but fell too late to be reflected in this week’s soil moisture statistics. 

Iowa averaged 5.3 degrees warmer than normal last week

The week began cold with temperatures falling to 13 degrees on Monday (Nov. 21) morning at Cresco and Elkader. However, the remainder of the week was consistently on the warm side of normal. Des Moines reported the highest temperature of the week with a 61 degree reading on Saturday (Nov. 26). Temperatures for the week as a whole varied from 2 to 5 degrees above normal over the east and 5 to 9 degrees above normal over the west with a statewide average of 5.3 degrees greater than usual.

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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