IOWA — Heavy rains have returned to Iowa in recent weeks, but the overdue rainfall is not bring better news in the weekly crop progress reports. This week’s update from the USDA shows that soil moisture is improving but crop condition is not.

According to the USDA, 66% of Iowa’s corn plants and 63% of soybeans can be considered in good-to-excellent condition right now. That’s mostly unchanged from last week and far below where farmers would hope it to be.

Despite those conditions holding steady, things are improving beneath the soil. According to the report, just 45% of the state’s topsoil is now short on moisture. That figure is down from 48% short on moisture last week. Northwest Iowa continues to be the hardest hit by the 2022 drought. 67% of the soil in that region is short on moisture while northeast Iowa reports that only 8% of the soil is short on moisture.