The latest weekly statewide survey shows Iowa's 2014 soybean harvest is now 39% complete, and the corn crop is 10% harvested. The survey, conducted by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service as of October 12, is up from only 9% harvested as of October 5. Thus, Iowa farmers harvested nearly one-third of the state's soybean crop last week.
The state's soybean harvest is still more than a week behind normal. Iowa soybean harvest is typically 65% completed by this time, says Greg Thessen, who directs the survey for USDA/NASS in Iowa. The state's corn harvest, reaching 10% as of October 12, is almost three weeks behind the normal pace, thanks to wet weather this fall.
"It was good to make some progress with harvest last week but we are still well behind the five year average," Northey said. "Some parts of the state may have a challenge trying to catch up with harvest due to the wet weather we are experiencing this week."
Farmers continued to struggle last week with muddy fields
Iowa farmers continued to struggle last week with wet, muddy fields, especially in low spots. Likewise, the national corn and soybean harvest is running behind normal. The U.S. corn harvest advanced to 24% as of Sunday October 12 and soybean harvest went to 40%, but both were quite a ways behind the 5-year averages of 43% and 53%.
The complete weekly report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship website or on the USDA site. The report summary follows here:
CROP REPORT: Mostly dry weather allowed farmers to harvest 30% of Iowa's soybean acreage during the 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending October 12, 2014, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Muddy fields, especially in low spots, have slowed harvest across Iowa. Activities for the week included fall tillage and the spread of manure on harvested fields. Cover crops have started to emerge across the state.
Moisture content of corn at harvest remains high at 23%
Topsoil moisture levels rated zero percent very short, 4% short, 78% adequate and 18% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 7% short, 80% adequate and 12% surplus. Southwest Iowa was the wettest with just under half of its topsoil in surplus condition as of October 12.
The survey shows 90% of Iowa's corn acreage was mature, 4 days behind the 5-year average. Corn harvest reached 10%, almost 3 weeks behind the normal pace. Moisture content of corn at harvest remained high at 23% contributing to the slower than normal progress. Statewide, 76% of the corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition. And 95% of the soybean crop was dropping leaves or beyond.
On-farm grain storage availability is running 13% short
Soybean harvest advanced rapidly to 39% complete, just over one week behind normal. And 74% of the soybean acreage was in good to excellent condition.
Grain movement from farm to elevator in Iowa was rated 15% none, 38% light, 32% moderate, and 15% heavy. Off-farm grain storage availability was 8% short, 80% adequate and 12% surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was 13% short, 79% adequate and 8% surplus.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay was nearing completion, while hay and roughage supplies were estimated at zero percent very short, 2% short, 82% adequate and 16% surplus. Pasture condition rated 66% good to excellent. Livestock conditions have been optimal. Calves were being weaned.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending Oct. 12, 2014
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
It was a relatively cool and dry week across Iowa. Very light rain was scattered across Iowa on Sunday (Oct. 5) night and across northeast and far eastern Iowa on Tuesday (Oct. 7). Rain fell nearly statewide on Wednesday (Oct. 8) night. However, rainfall of more than one-half inch was confined to a narrow band from Monona County east-southeast to Louisa County. Weekly rain totals varied from none over far northeastern Iowa to 1.10 inches at Bagley in Guthrie County. The statewide average precipitation was 0.16 inches, or about one-fourth of the weekly normal of 0.60 inches. This was Iowa's driest week in eleven weeks.
Much of northern Iowa had a hard freeze on October 11
Much of northern Iowa recorded a hard freeze on Saturday (Oct. 11) morning with minimum temperatures as low as 25 degrees at Elkader, Mason City and Sheldon. There were also scattered freezes on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings. However, large portions of central and southeast Iowa have yet to record a killing freeze this fall. Temperatures edged slightly above normal in some areas on Tuesday and Wednesday with Burlington the warm spot in the state with a 75 degree maximum on Tuesday afternoon.
Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from one degree below normal across the southwest to five degrees below normal in the northeast with a statewide average of 3.2 degrees subnormal. Soil temperatures at the four inch depth were averaging in the low fifties in most areas as of Sunday (Oct. 12) and are expected to remain near that level for most of the next week to ten days.