"The frost this past weekend covered much of the northern part of the state and really put many farmers on pace to begin full-fledge harvest this coming week. Let's hope the weather continues to cooperate and farmers can get the crop in," says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.
Northey made his comments yesterday after the weekly Iowa weather and crop condition survey was released by the Iowa Ag Statistics Service. Results of the statewide survey were compiled September 16 and released September 17.
“There was definitely some frost in Iowa this past weekend—especially in northern Iowa,” says Elwynn Taylor, ISU Extension climatologist. Even as far south as Gladbrook, northeast of Marshalltown, a farmer reported his soybeans were bright green Friday afternoon and black leaves showed up on Sunday September 16. The frost that nipped the crops will advance the season.
Reels being used to harvest downed corn. The first frost of the season hit the state, with some areas colder than others. Most crops were mature enough not be affected by the frost, but soybeans planted late in the season had leaves nipped. Corn silage and third alfalfa crop harvest is finishing up. Corn reels are being used to harvest downed corn. Harvest is expected to be in full swing this coming week. Insect pressure has lessened with the frost.
The survey shows there were 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork last week, compared to 4.0 days a year ago. Topsoil moisture rates zero percent very short, 4% short, 89% adequate and 7% surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rates 1% very short, 5% short, 83% adequate and 11% surplus.
Statewide, 69% of the corn has reached maturity, ahead of both last year’s 54% and the 5-year average of 51%. Statewide, the moisture of corn in the field is averaging 28%. The moisture content of corn currently being harvested is 23%.
Nearly 75% of crop is good to excellent. The condition of Iowa’s corn crop currently rates 2% very poor, 6% poor, 20% fair, 52% good and 20% excellent. The September 27 survey shows 86% of the soybeans have leaves turning color, 2% behind both last year’s percentage and the 5-year average of 88%. Soybeans dropping leaves is at 54%, 2% ahead of last year and 1% ahead of the 5-year average. Soybean condition rates 1% very poor, 5% poor, 20% fair, 54% good and 20% excellent. Third cutting alfalfa is 93% complete, behind last year’s 97% and 2% behind the 5-year average. Hay condition rates 2% very poor, 8% poor, 30% fair, 51% good and 9% excellent. Pasture condition is currently rated 1% very poor, 6% poor, 27% fair, 53% good and 13% excellent.