Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 20, 2018

Combines rolling for Iowa soybean, corn harvest

Sep 27, 2017

DES MOINES — There were above average temperatures and scattered rains throughout the state for the week that ended Sunday, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

“Combines are just starting to get rolling with 5 percent of soybeans now harvested, and I would expect more farmers will be getting in the field this week,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “I do want to encourage everyone working on the farm and traveling through rural Iowa this fall to keep safety in mind during this very busy season.”

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

Report summary

According to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. for the week ending Sept. 24, statewide there were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included starting to harvest corn for grain and soybeans, planting cover crops, spreading manure, hauling grain, and finishing up chopping corn silage, harvesting seed corn, and cutting hay.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 22 percent very short, 27 percent short, 50 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels rated 21 percent very short, 33 percent short, 46 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus.

Ninety-four percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage or beyond, one week behind last year and three days behind the five-year average. Fifty-two percent of corn had reached maturity, five days behind average. Corn condition remained the same as last week at 59 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-one percent of soybeans were turning color or beyond, equal to last year and three days ahead of average. Sixty percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, two days behind last year, but one day ahead of average. Five percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, two days behind average. Soybean condition improved slightly to 60 percent good to excellent.

There were multiple reports of a fourth cutting of alfalfa hay being cut, and scattered reports of possibly being a fifth cutting in parts of Iowa.

Pasture conditions declined to 48 percent poor to very poor.

Livestock conditions were normal, although there were reports of water for cattle being an issue in parts of the state due to dry conditions.

Weather summary

The past week began with dry weather and seasonal temperatures on Sept. 17. Rain was scattered statewide on Sept. 18, with light accumulations east and light to moderate rain over the west. The remainder of the week was unseasonably warm and humid.

Daytime highs reached into the mid-90s in some areas from Sept. 20 through the weekend while overnight lows were in the 70s nearly statewide on Sept. 21. Sept. 19 was dry while thunderstorms brought rain to much of the southeast one-half of Iowa the evening of Sept. 21 into the next morning. Torrential rains fell over portions of Wapello, Jefferson and Scott counties with storm totals including 7.75 inches near Ottumwa, 6.05 inches at Fairfield and as much as 6.76 inches in Davenport. Over much of Wapello and Jefferson counties, the rains easily exceeded the totals of the previous 3.5 months combined.

Sept. 22 and Sept. 23 were dry statewide with the exception of thunderstorms over the extreme northwest corner of the state the evening of Sept. 23. A large area of rain began to move into western Iowa the afternoon of Sept. 24, but fell too late to be reflected in this week’s statistics.

Rain totals for the week varied from only a trace at Manchester to 7.77 inches just south of Ottumwa. The statewide average rainfall was 0.75 inches, just slightly below the weekly normal of 0.77 inches.

Temperatures averaged 10.4 degrees above normal with extremes ranging from Sept. 18 morning lows of 46 degrees at Coggon and Manchester to an afternoon high of 95 degrees at Iowa City on Sept. 23.


The weather summary is provided by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship.

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