Iowa has 19% of its 2014 corn crop harvested and 61% of its soybeans, as of October 19, according to USDA's weekly statewide crop conditions survey. A year ago at this time, 34% of the state's corn was harvested. The 5-year average is 53%. Iowa's soybean harvest this fall, at 61% harvested as of September 19, is running behind the 67% mark of a year ago and lags the 5-year average of 77%.
"Heavy rains across the southeast two-thirds of Iowa early last week kept farmers out of the fields for several days and as a result we remain well behind the 5-year average with only 19% of corn and 61% of soybeans harvested," notes Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. "However, the dry weather the last several days has been very helpful and farmers will be working long hours to get the crop in in the weeks ahead when soil and weather conditions allow."
U.S. corn, soybean harvest also lagging behind normal pace
The U.S. corn harvest advanced to 31% complete as of Sunday, and soybean harvest went to 53% complete. That's still quite a ways behind the 5-year averages of 53% and 66% for the nation, says Greg Thessen, director of the Iowa Office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service in Des Moines, which conducts the survey.
The complete weekly report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's site or on USDA's site. The report summary follows here:
Iowa corn harvest is 19% complete, 18 days behind normal
CROP REPORT: Fieldwork stalled early in the week due to rain, but farmers were able to harvest during the rest of the week ending October 19, 2014, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Overall there were 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork. Most farmers reported harvesting soybeans while waiting for corn to dry down in the fields. Activities for the week included fall tillage, manure and fertilizer application, biomass baling, and hauling grain.
Topsoil moisture levels rated zero percent very short, 4% short, 78% adequate, and 18% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 5% short, 80% adequate, and 14% surplus. Southwest and south central Iowa were the wettest with over one-third of their topsoil in surplus condition.
Moisture content of Iowa corn is averaging 21% in the field
Ninety-six percent of Iowa's corn acreage was mature, 3 days behind the 5-year average. Corn harvest advanced 9 percentage points to 19% complete, 18 days behind the normal pace. Moisture content of corn at harvest was estimated at 21%. As of Oct. 19 the survey shows 77% of the 2014 Iowa corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition. With almost the entire soybean crop dropping leaves or beyond, harvest reached 61% complete, 9 days behind normal. Seventy-four percent of the soybean acreage was in good to excellent condition.
Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 55% moderate to heavy, increasing 8 percentage points from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability was 92% adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was 87% adequate to surplus.
Pasture and hay have had excellent regrowth this fall with plenty of rain and cooler than normal temperatures. Pasture condition remained steady at 66% good to excellent, while hay and roughage supplies were estimated at 97% adequate to surplus. Livestock conditions were reported as ideal.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY: For week ended October 19, 2014
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Statewide average rainfall was nearly triple weekly normal
Light rain fell nearly statewide on Sunday (Oct. 12) with moderate to heavy rain falling across the southeast two-thirds of Iowa on Monday (Oct. 13) and into Tuesday (Oct. 14). The remainder of the week was dry excepting some scattered very light rain over the northeast on Friday (Oct. 17). Weekly rainfall amounts varied from just a trace at Spencer and Estherville to 4.61 inches at Pella. The statewide average precipitation was 1.50 inches or nearly triple the weekly normal of 0.56 inches.
Soil temperatures averaging in the low to mid-50s statewide
Temperatures were near seasonal averages for the week with cooler than normal weather on Sunday (Oct. 12) and Saturday (Oct. 18) and slightly higher than normal temperatures during the work week. Temperature extremes varied from morning lows of 28 degrees at Sheldon on Wednesday (Oct. 15) and 27 degrees at Elkader on Sunday (Oct. 19) to a Thursday (Oct. 16) afternoon high of 78 degrees at Sioux City. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from 3 degrees above normal over the far northwest to two degrees below normal over the far southeast with a statewide average of 0.2 degrees above normal.
Soil temperatures at the four inch depth as of Sunday (Oct. 19) were averaging in the low to mid 50's statewide and are expected to remain in the fifties for the coming week.