Iowa Crop Progress & Condition Report Week of Nov. 23-29, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa (Nov. 30, 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.

“This week marks the end of the 2020 weekly crop progress and conditions report from USDA-NASS. Despite some challenging weather conditions this growing season, the majority of Iowa farmers wrapped up harvest three weeks sooner than normal,” said Secretary Naig. “We will closely monitor needed precipitation over the next few months to help recharge soil conditions before planting begins next spring.”

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

Crop Progress

Scattered rain and snow showers only allowed Iowa farmers 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 29, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. The southeastern portion of the State received the most precipitation. Fieldwork activities included harvesting corn for grain, baling corn stalks, applying fertilizer and manure, and hauling grain to elevators.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 12% very short, 28% short, 58% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 20% very short, 33% short, 46% adequate and 1% surplus.

Only 1% of Iowa’s corn for grain crop remains to be harvested, over 2 weeks ahead of last year and just over 1 week ahead of the 5-year average. Most of the scattered fields left to harvest are in the southern one-third of the state.

Cattle remain on corn stalk fields. Producers continue to haul water for cattle on corn stalks. Fluctuating temperatures have caused some stress for calves in hutches.

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

A more active storm track brought above average precipitation to much of southern Iowa as multiple days of rain and some snow fell across most of the state. Positive departures between 1.50 and 2.00 inches were observed in southeastern Iowa while the northwest corner reported a few tenths of an inch. Unseasonable warmth also persisted through the reporting period with a statewide average temperature of 36.0 degrees, 5.7 degrees above normal.

Skies cleared through Sunday (22nd) afternoon as a high pressure system approached from the west. Daytime highs remained in the mid to upper 40s with warmer conditions reported in southern Iowa. Overnight lows into Monday (23rd) varied from the upper teens north to mid 20s south as cloud cover increased west to east during the morning hours. A disturbance pushed into southwestern Iowa, initially bringing rain showers that switched over to snow through the afternoon hours. The system brought widespread snowfall across much of Iowa with the highest totals reported in eastern Iowa where Strawberry Point (Clayton County) observed 2.7 inches; the statewide average snowfall was 0.7 inch. As temperatures warmed into the mid to upper 30s overnight into Tuesday (24th), widespread rain fell across the state ahead of a low pressure system moving through Missouri. Showers remained in central and eastern Iowa through Wednesday (25th) afternoon. Rain totals for the event varied from a few tenths of an inch in northwestern Iowa to over 1.00 inch at multiple stations in southeastern Iowa; Albia 3 NNE (Monroe County) observed 2.00 inches with the statewide average of 0.51 inch. Cloud cover cleared over southern Iowa during the late afternoon, allowing highs to push into the upper 40s and low 50s. Existing cloudy conditions across northern Iowa held temperatures in the low 40s.

Thanksgiving Day (26th) saw sunny skies and westerly winds with daytime temperatures generally in the mid to upper 40s. Starry skies and a shift to a southerly wind greeted Friday (27th) morning with temperatures in the upper 20s to low 30s statewide. Conditions were pleasant through the day with afternoon highs in the upper 30s north to upper 40s south. Clear conditions continued into Saturday (28th) with high temperatures reaching into the upper 50s across southern Iowa, lovely conditions for late November. The statewide average high was 55 degrees, 16 degrees warmer than normal. Winds shifted to a northerly direction overnight as a weak cold front propagated northwest to southeast through Iowa. Morning lows reported at 7:00 am on Sunday (29th) were in the low to mid 30s.

Weekly precipitation totals ranged from no accumulation at Sibley (Osceola County) to 2.78 inches in Sigourney (Keokuk County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.82 inch, while the normal is 0.43 inch. Several stations in central and southern Iowa reported the week’s high temperature of 58 degrees on the 28th, on average 18 degrees above normal. Battle Creek 3NE (Ida County) reported the week’s low temperature of 14 degrees on the 23rd, five degrees below normal. Four-inch soil temperatures as of Sunday were in the mid 30s north to low 40s south.

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