harvest
FINAL REPORT: Many Iowa farmers were able to wrap up their fall fieldwork with 6.6 days suitable last week. Only southwest and south-central Iowa has over 5% of its corn for grain crop remaining to be harvested.

Farmers wrapping up 2017 harvest in Iowa

Corn harvest statewide is nearly complete at 96% as of Nov. 26, USDA survey shows.

The final Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report for the 2017 growing season was released Nov. 27 by USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. Based on the statewide survey as of Nov. 26, it shows Iowa’s harvest is just about finished. The report is released weekly every year from April through November.

“Only southwest and south-central Iowa have over 5% of their 2017 corn crop still in the field,” notes Mike Naig, Iowa deputy secretary of agriculture.

Better-than-expected yields
Harvest season is now drawing to a close with 96% of Iowa’s 2017 corn crop in the bin. “The good weather this past week also allowed farmers to do fall fieldwork and other activities on the farm,” he says. “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 complete weekly report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s site IowaAgriculture.gov or USDA’s site nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows.

Summary of Iowa crop conditions
Many Iowa farmers were able to wrap up work with 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Nov. 26, according to NASS. Activities for the week included harvesting, baling cornstalks, tiling, terracing, hauling and spreading manure, and applying fertilizers.

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

Corn harvest 8 days behind average
Corn for grain harvested was nearly complete at 96%, eight days behind the five-year average. Only southwest and south-central Iowa has over 5% of its corn for grain crop remaining to be harvested. Moisture content of corn being harvested for grain averaged 17% last week.

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

Weather summary for Iowa
Harry Hillaker, state climatologist at IDALS, provides the following summary for the week ended Nov. 12.

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 Nov. 21 in the morning. A few sprinkles were also scattered across the northern one-quarter of the state on Nov. 24. 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.

Iowa’s driest fall month in 10 years
This November has been Iowa’s driest fall month since November 2007.

The reporting week began Nov. 19 with cold air lingering in eastern Iowa, where daytime highs were only in the low 30s, while much warmer weather was moving into far-western Iowa, where highs reached the mid-50s.

Strong southerly winds pushed temperatures into the 50s and 60s statewide on Nov. 20. Nov. 21 turned much colder and very windy with low temperatures persisting through Nov. 22. Temperatures were well above normal for the rest of the week, especially on Nov. 24, when daily record-high temperatures were recorded over most of Iowa.

Temperature extremes for the week varied from Nov. 22 morning lows of 6 degrees at Estherville and Little Sioux to a Nov. 24 afternoon high of 74 degrees at Iowa City. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 1 or 2 degrees above normal over the extreme east to as much as 8 degrees above normal over the far west with a statewide average of 4.3 degrees above normal.

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