Above-average temperatures and mostly dry weather allowed good harvest progress last week, according to USDA's latest weekly statewide survey. As of October 26, Iowa farmers had 81% of the soybeans and 36% of the corn harvested. Moisture content of corn at harvest was estimated at 19%, encouraging some farmers to harvest, but still limiting others who are waiting for corn to dry down in the field.
"The agreeable weather last week allowed many farmers to make good harvest progress, but with 36% of the state's corn and 81% of soybeans harvested we remain behind the five-year average," notes Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. "Wet fields and rain showers continue to slow progress in some areas and hopefully warm, dry weather will allow harvest to keep going in a timely manner."
The complete weekly Iowa Crop & Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship website or on USDA's site. The report summary follows here:
Warmer temperatures, dry weather allowed harvest progress
CROP REPORT: Above average temperatures and mostly dry weather allowed harvest to progress at a normal pace during the 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending October 26, 2014, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. A few low-lying fields remain too muddy to harvest. Activities for the week included fall tillage, manure and fertilizer application, corn stalk baling and hauling grain.
Topsoil moisture levels rated zero percent very short, 4% short, 80% adequate and 16% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 5% short, 81% adequate, and 13% surplus. Southwest and south central Iowa were the wettest with over one-third of their topsoil and subsoil in surplus condition.
Iowa corn harvest is 36% complete, 16 days behind average
With almost all of Iowa's corn acreage mature, harvest is 36% complete, 6 days behind 2013 and 16 days behind the 5-year average. Moisture content of corn at harvest is estimated at 19%, encouraging some farmers to harvest, but still limiting others who are waiting for corn to dry down in the field. Seventy-seven percent of the corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition. Soybean harvest reached 81% complete on October 26—that's 2 days behind last year and 4 days behind normal. Many farmers across the state are waiting for their replanted soybeans to mature.
Grain movement from farm to elevator is rated 58% moderate to heavy, increasing 3 percentage points from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability is 90% adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was 86% adequate to surplus.
Pasture condition rates 65% good to excellent, while hay and roughage supplies are estimated at 97% adequate to surplus. Livestock conditions were excellent, and a few cattle were turned out on corn stalk fields.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending Oct. 26, 2014
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Iowa enjoyed a mild and mostly dry week. Light to moderate rain fell between Wednesday (Oct. 22) afternoon and Thursday (Oct. 23) morning over most of the state. Some very light rain was also scattered across northeast and east central Iowa on Friday (Oct. 24) afternoon. Otherwise dry weather prevailed. Weekly rain totals varied from just sprinkles over extreme southeast Iowa to 1.18 inches at Council Bluffs. Statewide average rainfall was 0.35 inches while normal for the week is 0.56 inches.
Temperatures were above normal in most of Iowa last week
Temperatures were above normal throughout the week across western Iowa where Sioux City recorded highs in the seventies every day. Eastern Iowa temperatures were near to below normal through Thursday but climbed well above normal on Friday (Oct. 24) and Saturday (Oct. 25). There were some scattered freezes, mostly across northeast Iowa, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday (Oct. 26) mornings. However, these lower readings came in areas that had recorded freezes earlier this fall.
Much of southeast Iowa has yet to have a freeze yet this fall
Much of the southeast quarter of Iowa, and a few scattered areas elsewhere, have yet to record a freeze this season. Temperature extremes for the week varied from a high of 78 degrees at Sioux City on Friday (Oct. 24) to a low of 27 degrees at Elkader on Sunday (Oct. 26). Temperatures for the week averaged from 11 degrees above normal over extreme northwest Iowa to one degree above normal at Burlington with a statewide average of 5.1 degrees above normal. Soil temperatures at the four inch depth were mostly averaging in the mid-fifties at the end of the week.