Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 11, 2016
AGRICULTURE

Corn, soybean harvest slowly moving forward

Hard freeze ends growing season over parts of Iowa
Oct 18, 2016

DES MOINES – Fieldwork was slowed by damp, foggy conditions, but farmers were able to make some harvest progress during the 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending Sunday, according the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

“Iowa’s corn and soybean harvest is moving forward, but remains fairly slow due to the damp weather and periodic rain” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “The 33 percent of corn and 62 percent of beans that have been combined remain behind the five-year average. Several days of dry weather would be very helpful and allow farmers to make significant progress on both corn and bean harvest.”

Many farmers reported waiting for crops to dry down in the field before harvesting and concentrating on corn rather than soybeans. Other activities for the week included fall tillage, manure and fertilizer applications, and seeding of cover crops.

The Iowa Crops and Weather report is released weekly from April through October by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report also is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia.

The report summary states:

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 82 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus.

Ninety-seven percent of the corn crop was mature or beyond, three days behind last year, but one day ahead of the five-year average. Thirty-three percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, fourdays behind last year and almost one week behind average. Moisture content of field corn being harvested was at 18 percent. Corn condition rated 82 percent good to excellent. Ninety-six percent of soybeans were dropping leaves or beyond, equal to the five-year average. Sixty-two percent of soybeans have been harvested, 6 days behind last year’s pace.

 

Pasture condition was rated 62 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were described as good.

 

Hard freeze ends growing season over parts of Iowa

By HARRY HILLAKER, State climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

The past reporting week began and ended with unseasonably warm weather with the coldest weather thus far this autumn sandwiched in between.

Most noteworthy was a nearly statewide freeze the morning of Oct. 13. A hard freeze effectively ended the growing season over most of the northwest one-half of Iowa with temperatures falling as low as 24 degrees at Mapleton.

The far southeast corner of the state, plus areas near the Mississippi River and scattered upland and urban locations in the southern one-third of Iowa, escaped the freeze.

A few locations in far northeast Iowa also recorded a freeze the next morning Oct. 14.

Meanwhile, daytime high temperatures were mostly in the 70s on Oct. 11, 15 and 16. Donnellson and Keosauqua recorded the week’s highest temperatures with 84 degree readings on Sunday.

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 1 to 3 degrees above normal over the northwest and 3 to 6 degrees warmer than normal over the southeast, with a statewide average of 4.2 degrees above normal. Rain occurred fairly frequently over the past week, however, rain totals were on the light side in most areas.

Light to moderate rain fell across the southeast two-thirds of Iowa from the evening of Oct. 10 into the morning of Oct. 11, with heaviest rains in south central and southwest Iowa where College Springs reported the most rain with 0.77 inches.

Light rain was scattered over much of Iowa Oct. 12, with some heavier rain over the extreme southeast where Montrose picked up 0.90 inches. Mostly light rain fell over the southeast two-thirds of the state Oct. 15 into the morning of Oct. 16, although a band of 0.5 to 1 inch of rain fell from Cedar Rapids to Dubuque.

Weekly rain totals varied from only a trace at Rock Rapids and Swea City to 1.14 inches at the Cedar Rapids Airport. The statewide average precipitation was 0.24 inches while normal for the week is 0.57 inches. Soil temperatures at the 4-inch depth were averaging in the mid-50s over the extreme northwest corner of Iowa to the mid-60s over the southeast as of Oct. 16.

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