Iowa harvest gaining momentumIowa has driest week in seven months
DES MOINES – While harvest was starting to gain momentum there were many reports of muddy conditions and standing water in some fields this week according to the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. “After a slow start due to the wet weather, harvest is now entering full swing with 10 percent of corn and 21 percent of beans in the bin,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “If we continue to have good weather, I would expect both of those numbers to increase rapidly this week.”
“Cover crops are also beginning to emerge in fields that were aerially seeded, while other fields will be planted following harvest,” Northey added.
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:
Warmer and drier weather allowed Iowa farmers 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending Oct. 2. While harvest was starting to gain momentum there were many reports of muddy conditions and standing water in some fields. Fieldwork activities for the week included cutting hay, harvesting corn and soybeans, and fall tillage.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 3 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus.
Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus.
Eighty-eight percent of the corn crop was mature or beyond, two days ahead of last year, and four days ahead of the five-year average. Ten percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, one day behind last year and nine days behind average. Corn condition rated 81 percent good to excellent.
Ninety-six percent of soybeans were turning color or beyond, equal to both last year and the average. Eighty-five percent of soybeans were dropping leaves or beyond, four days ahead of average. Twenty-one percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, one day behind last year’s pace. Soybean condition rated 81 percent good to excellent.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay is almost complete at 98 percent. Pasture condition rated 64 percent good to excellent.
Livestock were reported to be in good condition except for areas with flooded pastures.
Iowa has driest week in seven months
By HARRY HILLAKER, State climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
The past week, Sept. 26 through Oct. 2, was the driest in Iowa in seven months, with a statewide average of only 0.01 inches compared to a weekly normal of 0.71 inches.
Most of the western two-thirds of the state saw no measurable rain while the largest amount reported was just 0.15 inches which fell south of Goose Lake in Clinton County. The bulk of what little rain fell occurred on Friday into Saturday.
Temperatures were mostly near to slightly above normal.
Temperature extremes varied from morning lows of 38 degrees at the Spencer Airport and Sheldon on the morning of Sept. 29 and again at the Spencer Airport the morning of Set. 30 to highs of 78 degrees at Shenandoah, Lamoni and Bedford the afternoon of Sept. 27 and at Hampton and Pocahontas on Oct. 2. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 1.9 degrees above normal.