Combines were rolling across Iowa fields last week, thanks to dry weather. Iowa's 2014 corn harvest is now 61% complete as of November 2, according to the latest weekly survey conducted by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. That's an increase of 25% compared to the week before, when only 36% of the corn harvest was complete statewide as of October 26. Iowa's 2014 corn harvest is now just 10 days behind the 5-year average.
Iowa's soybean harvest is 91% complete as of November 2, compared to 81% a week earlier. Despite the gains, the 2014 soybean harvest is still three days behind last year but a day ahead of normal. This was the first time this year Iowa's soybean harvest was ahead of average, according to the USDA report.
Ideal weather this past week allowed fields to dry, harvest to progress
"The weather was ideal this past week as it allowed fields to dry and farmers took advantage, with harvest progress reaching 61% on corn and 91% on soybeans. Corn harvest is now only 10 days behind average and soybean harvest is slightly ahead of average pace," notes Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.
Farmers harvested about 3.3 million acres of corn last week in Iowa, based on USDA estimates, but still have another 5.2 million acres to go. Iowa has an estimated 13.2 million acres of corn and nearly 9.9 million acres of soybeans being harvested this fall.
The U.S. corn harvest is now 65% done, a nearly 20 point jump from a week ago, and just 8 points behind the 5-year average. The U.S. soybean harvest surged 13% last week to 83% done which matches the 5-year average.
The complete weekly Iowa Crops & Weather report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's site or on USDA's site. The report summary follows here:
Moisture content of corn at harvest estimated at 18% statewide
CROP REPORT: Iowa farmers were able to harvest one-quarter of the state's corn crop during the week ending November 2, 2014, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork, the second most days suitable statewide this crop season. Other 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, 84% adequate, and 12% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 5% short, 83% adequate, and 11% surplus. Southwest Iowa was the wettest with almost one-third of its topsoil and subsoil in surplus condition.
Corn harvest 61% complete, soybean harvest 91% complete
As of November 2 in Iowa, 61% of the corn acreage was harvested, 4 days behind 2013 and 10 days behind the 5-year average. Moisture content of corn at harvest last week was estimated at 18%. And 76% of the Iowa corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition. Soybean harvest reached 91% complete, 3 days behind last year but a day ahead of normal. This was the first time this season soybean harvest was ahead of average.
Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 60% moderate to heavy, increasing 2 percentage points from the previous week. Although off-farm grain storage availability was rated 89% adequate to surplus, a few elevators were running short on storage space or limiting incoming grain. On-farm grain storage availability was 83% adequate to surplus. Hay and roughage supplies were estimated at 97% adequate to surplus. Livestock conditions were normal, with more cattle turned out on corn stalk fields.
Last week was Iowa's driest statewide in nearly two years
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending November 2, 2014
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Iowa enjoyed its driest week in nearly two years. Only a handful of locations picked up any measurable rain with 0.05 inches near Badger (Webster County) being the most reported. The statewide average precipitation was a trace while normal for the week is 0.55 inches. The early portion of the week was unseasonably mild with daytime highs mostly in the sixties and seventies. Temperatures in far southwest Iowa soared into the eighties on Sunday (Oct. 26) with Sidney the warm spot at 85 degrees. A strong cold front moved into the state on Tuesday (Oct. 28) with daytime highs mostly in the forties for the remainder of the week across northern Iowa.
Freezing temperatures across western and northern Iowa
There were scattered areas of freezing temperatures across western Iowa on Wednesday (Oct. 29) morning and northern Iowa on Thursday (Oct. 30) morning. However, a hard freeze impacted much of the northwestern two-thirds of Iowa on Friday (Oct. 31) morning and statewide on Saturday (Nov. 1) morning.
The week's lowest temperatures were reported across northeast Iowa on Saturday morning with 14 degree readings at Elkader and Stanley. Statewide average temp for the week was 0.6 degrees below normal. Soil temperatures at the four inch depth were averaging in the mid-forties across most of Iowa as of Sunday (Nov. 2).