Thanks to warm, dry weather Iowa farmers harvested one-third of the state's 2015 soybean crop last week. Thus, as of the week ended October 11, Iowa has 65% of its soybean crop already in the bin. Iowa's corn harvest was 29% complete as of Sunday October 11, according to the weekly USDA survey.
"The weather was nearly ideal for harvest last week with warm temperatures and dry weather allowing farmers to make significant progress on harvest," says Greg Thessen, who directs the survey from the USDA/NASS field office in Des Moines. "As of October 11 for Iowa, 65% of the beans and 29% of the corn have been harvested and with good weather in the forecast those numbers will continue to increase quickly."
Iowa's corn harvest at 29% complete is ahead of last year
High winds on Monday, October 12 along with the dry crops resulted in some crop fires in fields in several areas of eastern and western Iowa. Two firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation after fighting fires in farm fields in Scott County in eastern Iowa. Two fires blacked nearly 2,000 acres, destroying some corn that had yet to be harvested and threatening some buildings. Winds up to 45 mph fanned the flames.
Nationally, USDA says corn harvest was 42% completed as of October 11, while soybean harvest was 62% done. Iowa's corn harvest at 29% completed was ahead of last year's 9% but behind the 38% average. Illinois corn was 71% completed and soybeans were also 71% done as of October 11.
Harvest 2015 progress by crop reporting district in Iowa
Corn harvested for grain as of October 11 was 23% done in northwest Iowa, 33% in north-central Iowa, 31% in northeast Iowa, 20% in west-central Iowa, 30% in central Iowa, 31% in east-central Iowa, 21% in southwest Iowa, 29% in south-central Iowa and 52% in southeast Iowa.
Soybeans harvested as of October 11 were 85% done in northwest Iowa, 84% in north- central Iowa, 63% in northeast Iowa, 67% in west-central Iowa, 68% in east-central Iowa, 29% in southwest Iowa, 29% in south-central Iowa, and 61% in southeast Iowa.
The complete weekly Iowa Crops & Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's website IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
CROP REPORT: Warm and dry weather allowed Iowa farmers to harvest nearly one-third of the state's soybean crop during the week ending October 11, 2015, according USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork, the most days suitable for fieldwork this season. Activities for the week included cutting hay, harvesting corn, harvesting soybeans and fall tillage. There were also reports of manure and fertilizer being spread, as well as some grain hauling.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 12% short, 81% adequate and 6% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 8% short, 83% adequate and 8% surplus.
Iowa's 2015 corn harvest is running 12 days ahead of last year
As of October 11 in Iowa, 96% of the corn crop was mature, eight days ahead of last year, and four days ahead of the five-year average. And 29% of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, 12 days ahead of last year, but five days behind average. Moisture content of all corn being harvested was at 19%, down 2 percentage points from the previous week. Corn condition rated 80% good to excellent. Across Iowa, 95% of soybeans were dropping leaves, three days ahead of normal. The state's soybean crop was 65% harvested as of October 11, which is 10 days ahead of last year.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay is nearly complete, 11 days behind the five-year average. Pasture condition rated 62% good to excellent. Livestock conditions were described as good with mild temperatures and little to no rain.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending October 11, 2015
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
It was a dry and unseasonably warm week across Iowa. Only a handful of locations reported any rain. Castana (Monona Co.) and Schleswig (Crawford Co.) picked up 0.02 inches of rain Tuesday (Oct. 6) morning. A few thunderstorms were scattered across east-central and southeast Iowa on Thursday (Oct. 8) afternoon but only Keokuk reported any measurable rain with 0.19 inches. Statewide average precipitation was just a trace while normal for the week is 0.60 inches, Iowa's driest week since mid-March.
Last week was the driest week in Iowa since March
Temperatures were above normal throughout the week with the exception of a brief cool-down on Friday (Oct. 9) into Saturday (Oct. 10) morning. Elkader and Decorah recorded the week's lowest temperatures with Saturday morning readings of 33 degrees. Temperatures were well above seasonal norms from Tuesday through Thursday. However, the warmest weather arrived on Sunday (Oct. 11) when highs were in the 80s over most of Iowa. Sioux City and Omaha-Council Bluffs set daily record high temperatures with 91 degree readings.
Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from 3 degrees above normal over the far southeast to 9 degrees above normal across the northwest with a statewide average of 6.6 degrees above normal. Soil temperatures as of Sunday (Oct. 11) were averaging in the upper f50s northeast to mid-60s southwest.