Corn Harvest 2012 Has Begun In Iowa

Corn Harvest 2012 Has Begun In Iowa

If weather stays dry, widespread harvesting is likely just a week or two away, according to USDA’s latest weekly crop conditions survey.

Crops are continuing to mature rapidly and harvest is starting to get underway in Iowa. Farmers are chopping silage and are just beginning to harvest corn for grain. If the dry weather persists, harvest is likely to get into full swing in just a week or two.

That’s the conclusion of the weekly Iowa Crops & Weather survey report, issued September 4 by the Iowa office of USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service in Des Moines. “The report, based on our statewide survey of conditions as of September 2, shows 50% of Iowa’s 2012 corn crop is now mature,” says Greg Thessen, director of the survey. “That’s well ahead of both last year and the five-year average of 11%.”

In Iowa, corn harvest was just beginning last week. USDA’s weekly survey shows 10% of U.S. corn crop already harvested as of September 2, 2012, well ahead of the 3% average for this time of year. Photo shows harvesting at 2012 Farm Progress Show last week at Boone, Iowa.

Just 13% of the Iowa corn crop is rated in good condition and none is rated excellent. A year ago, 59% of Iowa’s crop was rated good to excellent. The Iowa soybean crop’s poor to very poor rating remained unchanged from a week earlier at 37%.

Soybean prices reached all-time high of $17.71 per bushel on September 4
Soybean prices reached a record-high $17.71 per bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on September 4 after new reports of worldwide shortages. The U.S. crop is expected to be down by as much as 10% from last year due to the 2012 drought, according to USDA and private forecasts. USDA will update its official forecast for 2012 corn and soybean yields and production when it issues its next monthly crop report, on September 12. The September crop report will be based on field conditions as of the first of September.

Market analyst Arlan Suderman of Farm Progress Publications says Brazil’s August soybean exports were down nearly 44% from the previous month and down 34% from the previous year as supplies are drying up. Brazil is beset by drought problems, similar to those that have dogged U.S. corn and soybean crops this summer.

Warm, dry conditions continue to prompt rapid maturation of Iowa crops
The complete weekly Iowa Crops & Weather conditions report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship’s website or on USDA’s site  A summary of the latest report follows here:

CROP REPORT: The warm and dry conditions for the week ending September 2, 2012 promoted rapid maturation in Iowa’s drought-damaged crops. As farmers continue to chop corn for silage, farmers are also beginning to harvest corn for grain. Some of the farmers who are harvesting corn for grain are also baling the stalks. A few reports of aflatoxin have been received.

There were 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture levels declined to 50% very short, 34% short, 15% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture also declined and is now rated at 66% very short, 29% short, 5% adequate and 0% surplus.


As of September 2, around 91% of Iowa’s corn crop had reached the dent stage, ahead of last year’s 81% and the five-year average of 64%. Half of Iowa’s 2012 corn crop is now mature, ahead of both last year and the five-year average of 11%. Corn condition is reported at 23% very poor, 32% poor, 32% fair, 13% good and 0% excellent.

Half of Iowa soybean crop is turning color, 7% of bean fields dropping leaves
Also, 51% of the state’s soybean crop is turning color, a jump of 32 percentage points from the previous week. About 7% of Iowa’s soybean fields are dropping leaves, one week ahead of last year. Soybean condition is reported at 13% very poor, 24% poor, 40% fair, 21% good and 2% excellent. Harvest of third cutting of alfalfa hay, at 98% complete, continues to be a month ahead of normal.

One-fifth of Iowa’s pasture and range land is rated in fair or better condition. Pasture and range condition currently rates 51% very poor, 29% poor, 17% fair, 3% good and 0% excellent. The warmer weather caused little if any stress to livestock with no issues reported for the week.

A return to hot, dry conditions after respite of some cooler temperatures

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending September 2, 2012
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

After a few weeks of relatively cooler and wetter weather, the past week brought a return of the kind of heat and dryness we had in July. Temperatures were above normal every day of the reporting week, averaging 6.9 degrees above normal. Parts of west- central Iowa, including Sioux City and Logan, saw high temperatures climb to 90 degrees or higher every day, with Sioux City setting daily record highs of 101 degrees F on Wednesday (August 29) and 102 degrees F on Thursday (August 30). Mason City Airport reported the lowest temperature of the week with a Monday (August 27) morning low of 48 degrees F.

Much higher humidity returned this past week, but without being accompanied by much rain. The remnants of Hurricane Isaac brought light to moderate rain to far southeast Iowa from Friday (August 31) night into Sunday (September 2) morning. However, no measureable rain fell anywhere else in Iowa during the week. The statewide average precipitation was only 0.07 inches, while normal for the week is 0.89 inches. Much of Van Buren, Lee and Des Moines counties saw more than an inch of rain with Donnellson reporting the most with 2.12 inches this past week.

TAGS: Soybean USDA
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.