Much needed rain fell throughout the state of Iowa during the week ending August 20, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included haying and hauling grain.

Topsoil moisture levels improved to 19 percent very short, 31 percent short, 49 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Topsoil moisture levels in south central and southeast Iowa remained over 90 percent short to very short. Subsoil moisture levels rated 22 percent very short, 34 percent short, 44 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus.

Seventy-eight percent of the corn crop was in or beyond the dough stage, one week behind last year. Twenty-one percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage, one week behind last year and five days behind the 5-year average. Sixty-one percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition. Eighty-eight percent of soybeans were setting pods, 4 days behind last year but equal to average. Soybean condition improved slightly to 58 percent good to excellent. Almost all the oat crop for grain or seed has been harvested.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 73 percent complete, 8 days ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of average. Pasture condition improved to 19 percent very poor, 24 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 23 percent good and 3 percent excellent. Livestock conditions have been ideal with the cooler temperatures. However, available water supplies in ponds and creeks remains an issue for some producers and supplemental feeding has been required.