The mild fall temperatures continued last week in Iowa, and although much of the state received rain and strong winds, we're nearing the final stretch of harvest. USDA's weekly statewide survey showed 96% of the corn had been harvested as of November 15. And soil moisture levels look good for this time of year.
USDA discontinued reporting soybean harvest for the season, as it is pretty much done except for a few fields. This week, the week ending November 22, will be the final week for gathering corn harvest data by USDA.
Iowa's 2015 corn harvest is 96% done, same as U.S. harvest
While Iowa's corn harvest was 96% done as of last Sunday, that's ahead of last year's 91% and the five-year average of 96%, says Greg Thessen, director of the survey for USDA's NASS state office in Des Moines. Illinois corn was 100% harvested compared with 97% for the five-year average. Indiana corn was 99% harvested versus 91% average. Nationally, corn harvest was 96% complete as of last Sunday, ahead of 88% a year ago and the 94% average for the past fiveyears.
The complete weekly Iowa Crop & 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: Harvest activities and fall tillage were nearing completion as of November 15, while some tiling, terracing and fertilizer applications continued during the week ending November 15, 2015, according to the weekly survey by USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork, down nearly a full day from the previous week due to a storm system that moved through Iowa on Wednesday, bringing precipitation and high winds. Activities last week included harvesting corn, hauling and spreading manure, and anhydrous application.
Topsoil moisture levels rated zero percent very short, 8% short, 85% adequate, and 7% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2% very short, 12% short, 81% adequate and 5% surplus.
Iowa's corn harvest was 96% done as of the end of last week
This latest survey shows 96% of the Iowa corn crop for grain has been harvested, eight days ahead of last year, but equal to the five-year average.
Grain movement from farm to elevator as of November 15 was rated 43% moderate to heavy, down 8 percentage points from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability was rated 77% adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was rated 67% adequate to surplus.
Hay and roughage supplies were rated 97% adequate to surplus. Livestock conditions were described as good, with reports of little stress on livestock with the week's above normal temperatures.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ended November 15, 2015
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
The big weather news for the past reporting week was the storm system that moved through Iowa on Veteran's Day (Nov. 11). Thunderstorms resulted in severe winds being reported from 41 counties, mostly over the southern two-thirds of Iowa. At least 13 tornadoes were confirmed Wednesday afternoon and evening across the southern one-third of Iowa. Additionally, a general area of very strong winds followed the thunderstorms Wednesday night into Thursday morning with gusts at or above 50 mph across much of the state.
Iowa's first accumulating snow of the season didn't last long
This mid-week storm system brought the only rain for the week with greatest rain amounts coming over northwest and west-central Iowa where 1- to 2-inch amounts were common. Also the first accumulating snow of the season fell Wednesday night over parts of west-central and southwest Iowa but was very short-lived with surface temperatures barely falling to the freezing point. Weekly rain totals varied from 0.05 inches at Hamburg (Fremont Co.) to 2.91 inches at Holly Springs (Woodbury Co.). Statewide average precipitation was 0.84 inches; normal for the week is 0.49 inches.
Much colder weather is starting to dominate the week of Nov. 16
Meanwhile temperatures were above normal all week across western Iowa while parts of eastern Iowa dipped slightly below normal on Monday (Nov. 9), Tuesday (Nov. 10) and Friday (Nov. 13). Temperature extremes varied from a Tuesday (Nov. 10) morning low of 20 degrees at Elkader to highs of 69 degrees at Clarinda, Keosauqua and Ottumwa on Saturday (Nov. 14).
Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from 3 degrees above normal over far southeast Iowa to 10 degrees above normal over the northwest corner with a statewide average of 6.1 degrees above normal. Soil temperatures as of Sunday (Nov. 15) were averaging in the mid-40s northwest to upper 40s southeast. Soil temperatures may still climb into the 50s on Monday (Nov. 16) and Tuesday (Nov. 17) before much colder weather dominates later in the week.