Weekly Iowa Crops and Weather Report

Weekly Iowa Crop and Weather Report

Weekly Iowa Crop and Weather Report

Monday, April 16, 2018

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.  The report is released weekly from April through November.

 “An eventful weather week brought severe weather and significant snowfall to the state and continues to keep farmers from spring fieldwork. The weather is also challenge for livestock farmers caring for new calves and anticipating spring pasture growth.  We are starting to see cover crops green up and will even more if we get some warmer temperatures and sunshine,” Naig said.

 The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia.  The report summary follows here:


As cold, wet weather persisted yet another week, statewide Iowa farmers had only 1.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 15, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. When conditions allowed, farmers in the southern two-thirds of the State were busy applying fertilizer and seeding oats with isolated reports of tillage.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 12 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus. Recent heavy snow and rain have left northern Iowa with surplus soil moisture.

Twelve percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, 9 days behind last year and 10 days behind the 5-year average. While one-quarter of the oats have been planted in east central and southwest Iowa, northwest and north central Iowa have yet to get planting underway.

Livestock producers continue to experience challenges with snowfall and below normal temperatures stalling spring pasture growth and making tending to calves difficult throughout much of the State.


By Michael Timlin, Regional Climatologist, Midwestern Regional Climate Center

 Temperatures were below normal across the state, with readings more below normal further to the north. Precipitation was well above normal along the northern border and below normal along the southern border. Temperatures ranged from about 3 degrees cooler than normal in the south to as much as 12 degrees cooler than normal in the north. Freezing temperatures were recorded statewide in the first couple days of the week and then again for all but the southeast counties on the morning of the 15th. Minimum temperatures were above freezing on the 12th through the 14th for much of the state. Warm daytime temperatures pushed into the southern half of the state with a handful of 80 degree readings in southwestern Iowa. The warmest reading was 85 degrees on the 14th in Sidney. The coldest readings of the week were in northeastern Iowa on the 9th when Waukon fell to 4 degrees and Cresco fell to 8 degrees. Many northern Iowa stations recorded lows in the teens and below freezing highs during the week. Soil temperatures in the south climbed above 40 degrees but remained near freezing in the northwest. Precipitation totals ranged up to 3.91 inches in Spirit Lake and topped 3 inches at a handful of northern stations. Along the western and southern borders of the state, precipitations totals of less than a quarter inch were reported at multiple stations. Snow also was reported statewide, with totals exceeding a foot at some stations in northwestern and north central parts of the state. Spirit Lake reported 20.1 inches in the 7-day period. Storms on the 13th brought large hail and strong winds to Iowa. Hail reports up to 2 inches in diameter and wind damage reports to buildings and vehicles stretched between the southwest and northeast corners of the state.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

  1. What is the emerald ash borer? It is a very small, shiny green beetle (½ inch long x ⅛ inch wide; about the size of M Lincoln’s image on a penny).


  1. What does EAB eat? Hosts are species (and cultivars) of ash in the genus Fraxinus. Hosts include green ash (e.g., ‘Marshall Seedless’, ‘Patmore’, and ‘Summit’), white ash (g., Autumn Purple®) black ash, blue ash, and pumpkin ash. Manchurian and Chinese ash trees are primary hosts in its homeland [Eurasia]. A new host record of white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) was discovered in Ohio; this is not a common plant in Iowa. Mountain ashes (Sorbus species) are NOT hosts.


  1. Where is EAB from? This beetle is native to Asia and is found in China and Ko It also has been reported in Japan, Mongolia, the Russian Far East, and Taiwan. EAB arrived in the United States sometime before 2002 in wood packing materials. It has been recorded feeding on F. chinensis and F. mandshurica as a native borer.


  1. How did it get to Iowa? Most EAB infestations in the United States have been started by people unknowingly moving infested firewood, nursery plants, or sawmill log The adult beetle also can fly short distances (2 to 5 miles).


  1. Should I be concerned about EAB? Ye It kills ash trees, usually in 2-4 years. In the Midwest, millions of ash trees have been killed by EAB since 2002. There are about 3.1 million urban ash trees and an estimated 52 million ash trees in forests in the state of Iowa. Statewide, Iowa averages 16- 17% ash on city property, though the ash component in tree inventories can reach 87%.


  1. How do I know if I have an ash tree in my yard? Two sources to check on tree identification are: https://storextension.iastate.edu/ItemDetail.aspx?ProductID=1482 and http://www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry/iowa_trees/tree_id.html


  1. How do I know if my ash tree is infested? Look for the following symptoms: https://stoextension.iastate.edu/Product/EAB-or-Native-Borer  and https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/Common-Problems-of-Ash-Trees
    1. Canopy thinning or dying branches in the top of the tree
    2. Water sprouts (suckers) halfway up the trunk
    3. Feeding notches on edge of leaflets
    4. Woodpecker feeding sites/many bark flakes on lawn
    5. S-shaped feeding galleries under dead bark
    6. D-shaped exit holes (1/8 inch diameter)


  1. F o r c o u n t i e s  n o t  y e t  k n o w n t o  b e  i n f e s t e d w i t h  E A B ,  who can help me determine if my tree is infested? Contact one of the following if you suspect EAB in your tree:
    1. Iowa of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, State Entomologist Office: 515-725-1470
    2. Iowa Department of Natural Resources 515-725-8453
    3. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Entomology: 515-294-1101


  1. Who should be thinking about treating ash trees? If you are a homeowner within 15 miles of a known infested area, you can consider treatment of a healthy ash tree during the growing season (see

#10 below). If you are not in a known infested area, treatment may be premature.




  1. Ash Borer Management Options:
    1. There are two management publications available from Iowa State University Extension
    2. Ash trees can be protected with insecticide applied by a commercial pesticide applicator or the homeow Trees must be healthy, vigorously growing, and valuable to your landscape.
    3. Most of the systemic insecticide treatments (i.e., imidacloprid and dinotefuran) must be done each year for the life of the tr Two active ingredients will last for 2 years in a light EAB infestation: emamectin benzoate and azadirachtin. In heavy EAB infestations, only emamectin benzoate is effective for 2 years; azadirachtin must be injected every year.
    4. Keep in mind that treatment may not be effective for a given tree due to past injuries, age of the tree, soil moisture, soil compaction, and other site and environmental factors.
    5. Preventive treatments are most effectiv Infested trees with less than 30% dieback of the crown might be saved for a few years, but the tree’s crown will be misshaped as a result of removing the dead branches.
    6. Ash trees within 15 miles of a confirmed EAB site are at risk of EAB attack. Preventive treatments are suggested within this risk zone, but may be premature outside this ar

Continued monitoring of ash trees outside the risk zone for EAB symptoms is suggested.

  1. Systemic insecticides require time, good soil moisture, and active tree growth for distribution in the ash tree. Most soil-applied products (soil drench, granular, soil injection) must be applied in early spring (mid-April to mid-May) to be effective. Basal trunk sprays [most effective for trees <23”dbh] using dinotefuran can be applied from mid-May through mid-June. Trunk injections can generally be made during full canopy (April through August), provided there is good soil moisture.
  2. Soil drench homeowner treatments are effective for ash trees up to 60 inches in circumference (20 inches diameter), while granular treatments are recommended for trees up to 36 inches in circumference (12 inches diameter). Homeowners can make only one application per y Trees larger than 60 inches in circumference (20 inch diameter) will need to be treated by a certified commercial pesticide applicator.
  3. There are several treatment options available for ash trees when a commercial pesticide applicator makes the applicati Always use a certified applicator with experience in treating trees. For assistance in making a list of prospective certified applicators in your county/area, go to: https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/Finding-a-Certified-Pesticide-Applicator-for-Emerald-Ash-Borer-Treatment
  4. There is a per acre use limitation for soil treatments and basal bark treatments; consult the product label when planning applicati There is no per acre use limitation for trunk injections.
  5. ISU Extension and Outreach does NOT recommend canopy sprays because of limited effectiveness, the need for specialized equipment, spray drift, and possible adverse effects to nontarget organism


  1. If I am contacted by a pesticide applicator to treat ash trees for EAB in the fall or winter, what course should I take? The best time for most preventive applications for EAB is spring; some products can be used throughout the summer and early fall (before leaf color starts to change). IF you live within 15 miles of a confirmed EAB infested site, get an estimate for the treatment. It is best to get at least one additional estimate before any work is done. IF you live outside the risk zone, thank the applicator for showing interest and keep the company information on fil


  1. Where has EAB been found in Iowa? EAB infestations have been confirmed in fifty-seven Iowa counties. Counties considered infested:
    • Adair – Bridgewater (Mormon Trail Co. Park), Lake Orient Recreational Area (2016), Greenfield Lake (2018)
    • Adams – Rural area north of Cromwell (2016)
    • Allamakee –New Albin, Lansing, Black Hawk Point, Plough Slough (2010)
    • Appanoose – Moravia (2014)
    • Benton – Belle Plaine (2017)
    • Black Hawk–Waterloo (2014), Deerwood Park (2017)
    • Boone – Boone (2014), Ledges State Park (2017)
    • Bremer–Waverly (2014)
    • Buena Vista – Alta (2017)
    • Butler – Clarksville (2017)
    • Carroll – Rural area west of Carroll (2018)
    • Cedar – Mechanicsville (2013)
    • Clarke – Osceola (2016)
    • Clayton – Marquette, Monona (2017)
    • Clinton – Clinton (2015)
    • Dallas – Waukee (2015)
    • Davis – Rural area north of Bloomfield (2015)
    • Decatur – Rural area north of Grand River (2017)
    • Des Moines – Burlington (2013)
    • Dubuque – Dubuque (2015), Dyersville (2017)
    • Fayette – Oelwein (2017)
    • Greene – east of Grand Junction (2017)
    • Floyd – Charles City (2017)
    • Harrison – Logan, Missouri Valley (2016)
    • Henry – Mt. Pleasant (2014), Geode State Park (2017)
    • Howard – Cresco (2017)
    • Iowa – Lake Iowa Park (2016), north of Middle Amana (2017)
    • Jackson – Bellevue (2017)
    • Jasper – Newton (2014), Rock Creek State Park (2017)
    • Jefferson – Fairfield (2013)
    • Johnson – Coralville, Iowa City (2016), south of Oxford (2017)
    • Keokuk – Hedrick (2015)
    • Lee – Fort Madison (2015)
    • Linn – Cedar Rapids (2015), Toddville (2016), Lisbon (2-17)
    • Louisa – Rural area in central part of county (2016)
    • Lucas – Private woodlot (2014), Chariton (2016)
    • Madison – Rural site south of Winterset (2017)
    • Mahaska – Eddyville (2014); rural area NW of Oskaloosa (2015)
    • Marion – Maryville (2014), Marion Co. Park (2017)
    • Marshall – Rural area N of Le Grand (2018)
    • Monroe – Private property (2014), Albia (2017)
    • Montgomery – Rural area NW of Red Oak (2015); rural area north of Villisca (2016)
    • Muscatine – Muscatine (2014)
    • Polk – Urbandale, West Des Moines (2015); Des Moines, Mitchellville, Windsor Heights (2016)
    • Poweshiek – Grinnell (2015), Montezuma (2017)
    • Ringgold – west of Tingley (2017)
    • Scott – Davenport (2015), Bettendorf (2016), Scott Co. Park (2017), West Lake Park (2017)
    • Story – Story City (2014)
    • Tama – Rural area N of Le Grand (2018)
    • Taylor – Clearfield (2018)
    • Union – Creston (2013)
    • Van Buren – Birmingham (2016)
    • Wapello – Eddyville (2014), Eldon (2017)
    • Warren – Rural Milo (2017)
    • Washington – Brighton (2016), Washington (2017)
    • Wayne – north of Corydon (2017)
    • Winneshiek – Decorah (2016)


  1. Now that EAB has come to Iowa, is there some plan to manage/contain this pest? A detailed plan has been developed by Iowa’s collaborative agencies. The EAB Response Plan and other current Iowa information about EAB are given at: http://www.extension.iastatedu/psep/EmeraldAshBorer.html


  1. What does an EAB quarantine mean? A quarantine by state and U.S. agriculture departments means that hardwood firewood, ash logs, and wood chips cannot be moved out of the area without a permit. Homeowners must not remove their ash tree or firewood from their tree to an area outside the quaranti Tree removal companies must not haul logs or firewood outside the quarantine area unless inspected and treated as required by the regulations.


  1. How many counties in Iowa have been quarantined? The entire state (99 counties) of Iowa has been quarantined for EAB.


  1. What should a homeowner or tree care company do with ash trees cut down in or near the infested area? We request that you dispose or use the wood within your county.


  1. Can I use the mulch produced by chipping an EAB infested tree for landscaping? If the chip size is 1 inch x 1 inch or smaller (in two dimensions), recent research has shown that EAB does not survive and the chips can be used without concern. If the chip size is larger, however, it is best to bury or burn these chips (according to local ordinance) as soon as practical to prevent spreading EAB into new areas.


  1. Can I use the wood from an EAB infested ash as firewood? Yes, with one qualification. Once the ash tree is cut into pieces, the pieces can be used as firewood on your property. Please do not take infested firewood with you on camping trips, tailgating, hunting, or other places because you will spread EAB.


  1. What can my ash tree be used for, besides firewood? Depending on the straightness of the trunk and main branches, ash killed by EAB can be processed for lumber or can be debarked and used for outdoor furniture or landscaping. Pieces of scrap wood with the bark still attached should be burned, buried, or chipped.


  1. What general recommendations are available to communities? The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has worked with several communities to deal with EAB infestatio Contact Tivon Feeley (515-725-8453) or Emma Hanigan (515-249-1732) for more information.


  1. Where can I find current information about EAB on the Internet? Sites to gather current information about this exotic pest include:
    1. National: www.emeraldashborer.info
    2. ISU Extension & Outreach: http://www.extension.iastatedu/psep/EmeraldAshBorer.html
    3. IDALS: www.IowaTreePests.com
    4. IDNR: www.iowgov/Environment/Forestry/ForestHealth/EmeraldAshBorer.aspx


  1. Who is a local contact? Call your county Iowa State University Extension & Outreach office for more information: Carroll County 712-792-2364; Taylor County 712-523-2137


If you live in another Iowa county and would like to contact your Extension & Outreach office, visit http://www.extension.iastate.edu/content/county-offices and click on your county; the phone number is in the blue box in the upper right corner of a county’s web page.



Monday, March 5, 2018

Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving as your Secretary of Agriculture

By Bill Northey

 It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as your Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and as I move on to the next chapter I want to express my deep appreciation for you entrusting this position to me for the past eleven years.  Serving in this role has deepened and expanded my passion for our state’s unmatched agriculture industry.

This certainly includes the farmers that do an amazing job of producing the food and fuel the world needs while protecting our environment, but also includes the vast ag industry in our state.  The ag businesses, manufacturers, farmer organizations, commodity groups, ag lenders, ag educators, community colleges, universities and many others that work with and support our farmers also play a critical role in our work to feed and fuel the world.

The list of groups and individuals who play an important role in our state’s agriculture also includes the men and women of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

It has been a tremendous joy for me to work closely with these dedicated public servants to fulfill the Department’s mission to provide leadership for all aspects of agriculture in Iowa, to ensure consumer protection and to promote the responsible use of our natural resources. I am extremely proud of the work they have done and all that we have accomplished.

Water Quality

One of those important efforts has been to take on the challenge of improving water quality. Farmers have always worked to protect the natural resources for which they are responsible. With the announcement in 2010 that Iowa would develop a statewide Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (Strategy), our goal has been to engage all Iowans and move forward with a comprehensive solution to achieve specific water quality goals.

Our approach has been to work with farmers, landowners, businesses and other partners to harness the innovation of Iowans and the agriculture community to find new ways to help us do an even better job on our farms and in our communities.

I am extremely appreciative of the partnership with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University throughout this process. I also want to thank the Iowa Legislature for their work to provide additional funding to our Department to support farmers’ water quality efforts.

I’m excited about the significant progress we have made in just a few short years.

We are seeing thousands of farmers trying cover crops. We have gone from just a few tens of thousands of acres ten years ago to over 700,000 acres last year.

We also have 56 demonstration projects located across the state to help implement and demonstrate water quality practices through the initiative.  This includes 22 that are agriculture focused and 34 that are urban demonstration projects.  More than 200 partner organizations will provide $30.6 million to go with the $19.0 million in state funding going to these projects.

There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done, but I truly believe we are on the right path. Through collaboration and partnerships we will continue to make water quality improvements.

Avian Influenza

One of the most challenging times for Iowa farmers and our Department was the Avian Influenza outbreak in 2015.  The USDA has described this outbreak as the largest animal health emergency in U.S. history, and unfortunately Iowa was very much in the center of the storm.

It was hard to see the devastating impact this disease had on our farms and the farmers who have spent their life caring for these animals.  However, the resiliency of our farmers is inspiring and it has been encouraging to see their passion as they have worked to recover from the outbreak.

I do want to thank the employees at our Department and from across state government that stepped forward and were willing to serve in any role necessary to help respond to this emergency and help the industry recover. The support from USDA as well as a broad array of other partners was critically important throughout the response and recovery process.

Since the outbreak, Iowa’s livestock farmers have also stepped forward and invested millions of dollars in biosecurity on their farms to better protect their animals.

 Ag Economy

During my 11 years in office, I have also seen the dramatic fluctuations in prices that unfortunately often characterize the agriculture economy.  This has included times of record profitability for farmers, a larger national economic crisis that was tempered here in Iowa by the strength of our ag economy, and now, a time of real economic challenge for our state’s farmers.

Due in part to the unmatched productivity of our farmers, we are seeing a time where we have some excess supply and that is lowering prices for farmers.

The work to continue to build and grow markets for the products we produce remains critically important.  First and foremost, the livestock industry is the number one customer for our corn and soybeans and we need to make sure they remain strong and growing.

Renewable fuels are another key market that we need to continue to strengthen.  Expanding access to higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel represent a great opportunity to grow our biofuels industry while reducing our environmental impact.

Finally, continuing to expand our trade opportunities is extremely important. It has been an honor and a privilege to participate in 22 international trade missions during my time as Secretary with both state and industry leaders to help promote our agricultural products.

Telling the story of Iowa Agriculture

As I have had the opportunity to work with so many partners and friends on these issues and many others, I have had the opportunity to see up-close the kindness, goodness, passion, hard work and humility that is the hallmark of Iowans.

Our rich soils and favorable weather (most of the time) are obviously important, but I have learned over and over again that it is the people that make our state and its agriculture truly special.

One of my absolutely favorite things about being Secretary was the opportunity to recognize the Century and Heritage Farm award winners each year at the Iowa State Fair. To date there have been more than 19,000 Century Farms (farms that have been in the same family for 100 years) and over 1,000 Heritage Farms (farms that have been in the same family for 150 years) recognized in Iowa. When you consider the challenges and hardships each of these families would have faced and overcome over the generations, it is amazing to think about.

You soon realize that these farms are not just a piece of ground or an asset to be used, the land is part of the family and they respect it and care for it. They want to hand it down to their children and grandchildren just as their parents and grandparents handed it to them.

Throughout my time in office I have worked hard to represent these and all the other farm families of the state and share their values of land stewardship, hard work, patience, dedication and perseverance.

I am more optimistic than ever for the future of agriculture in Iowa and I want to thank all Iowans for giving me the honor and privilege of serving as your Secretary of Agriculture.

 Northey has served as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture since 2007.  He resigned on March 5, 2018 to serve as an Under Secretary of Agriculture at USDA.

Monday, November 27, 2017


DES MOINES – The Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report has been released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.  The report is released weekly from April through October.

“Harvest season is now drawing to a close with 96 percent of corn now in the bin.  The good weather this past week has also allowed farmers to do fall field work and other activities on the farm,” said Mike Naig, Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.  “Overall, many farmers have reported better than expected yields, despite the challenges of the growing season. Dry weather, particularly in southern Iowa, stressed crops and did negatively impact yields in some areas.”

The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:

Crop Report

Many Iowa farmers were able to wrap up their fall fieldwork with 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 26, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting, baling corn stalks, tiling, terracing, hauling and spreading manure, and applying fertilizers.

 Topsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 14 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 7 percent very short, 19 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

 Corn for grain harvested was nearly complete at 96 percent, 8 days behind the 5-year average. Only southwest and south central Iowa have over 5 percent of their corn for grain crop remaining to be harvested. Moisture content of corn being harvested for grain averaged 17 percent.

 Livestock conditions were reported as good with little stress. Cattle continued to graze in harvested corn and soybean fields with some hay starting to be fed.


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

The past week brought highly variable temperatures with no precipitation of consequence. Some very light rain or flurries fell over parts of the southern one-third of Iowa on Tuesday (21st) morning. A few sprinkles were also scattered across the north one-quarter of the state on Friday (24th). Maximum rain totals for the week were only 0.02 inch from the Atlantic, Davenport and Muscatine areas. The statewide average precipitation was a trace while normal for the week is 0.42 inch. This has been Iowa’s driest fall month since November 2007. The reporting week began on Sunday (19th) with cold air lingering in eastern Iowa where daytime highs were only in the low thirties while much warmer weather was moving into far western Iowa where highs reached the mid-fifties. Strong southerly winds pushed temperatures into the fifties and sixties statewide on Monday (20th). Tuesday (21st) turned much colder and very windy with low temperatures persisting through Wednesday (22nd). Temperatures were well above normal for the remainder of the week, especially on Friday(24th) when daily record high temperatures were recorded over most of Iowa. Temperature extremes for the week varied from Wednesday (22nd) morning lows of 6 degrees at Estherville and Little Sioux to a Friday (24th) afternoon high of 74 degrees at Iowa City. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged a degree or two above normal over the extreme east to as much as eight degrees above normal over the far west with a statewide average of 4.3 degrees above normal.






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