Iowa's corn and soybean harvest is getting underway for 2014. The state's farmers had 2% of the corn acreage harvested as of September 28 versus 5% a year ago at this time. The five-year average is 15% complete. Soybean harvest is also now getting started with 3% harvested versus 4% a year ago and a 17% average.
These numbers come from the weekly Iowa Crops & Weather survey conducted by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service in Des Moines. Some fields have already reached maturity which other fields are continuing to advance toward maturity. "Farmers are just starting to harvest both corn and soybeans as conditions allow," notes Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. "As more farmers start harvest it is important everyone working on the farm and driving through rural Iowa keep safety in mind to help make sure we have a safe and successful harvest season."
Harvesting early corn and beans, chopping silage, harvesting hay
CROP REPORT: The complete weekly report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's website or on USDA's site. The report summary follows here:
Above average temperatures pushed this fall's crops toward maturity during the week ending September 28, says Greg Thessen, director of the Iowa survey. There were 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork last week. Activities for the week included harvesting early corn and soybeans, chopping silage and harvesting hay.
Iowa corn is 2% harvested, while U.S. corn is 12% harvested
Looking at the national figures, the U.S. corn harvest advanced to 12% complete as of September 28, while soybean harvest increased to 10% harvested.
The Iowa survey shows topsoil moisture on Sunday rated 0% very short, 5% short, 83% adequate and 12% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 8% short, 82% adequate and 9% surplus. Southwest Iowa was the wettest area of the state this past week, with over one-third of its topsoil in surplus condition.
Nearly 60% of Iowa's 2014 corn crop has now reached maturity
The statewide survey shows 96% of Iowa's corn crop was in or beyond the dent stage as of September 28. The state's corn reached 58% mature, surpassing last year, but still eight days behind normal. Corn harvest has begun across the state, with 76% of the acreage reported in good-to-excellent condition.
Leaves were turning color on 94% of the soybean crop, equal to the five-year average for this stage for the first time this season. Also on September 28, about 65% of the soybean acreage was dropping leaves, still three days behind normal. Soybean harvest is underway and 74% of the acreage is rated in good to excellent condition.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 91% complete, just over two weeks behind both 2013 and average. Pasture condition rated 67% good-to-excellent. Little stress on livestock was observed. High manure levels have been reported in some pits and lagoons.
Crop Conditions as of September 28, 2014
Item Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
Pasture & Range ....... 1% 5% 27% 51% 16%
Corn .......................... 2% 4% 18% 52% 24%
Soybeans .................. 2 % 5% 19% 52% 22%