Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

Harvest continues

Nov 01, 2017

DES MOINES — The Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report has been released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.

“Farmers were again able to make good harvest progress, combining over 20 percent of the state’s corn and soybean crop last week, but still remain behind the five-year average,” said Mike Naig, Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. “Also, do want to remind farmers that the deadline for seeding winter hardy cover crops has been extended for two weeks, so there still is time to seed them as they finish harvest.”

The report is released weekly from April through October. It 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.

According to the report summary, a mostly dry week allowed Iowa farmers to progress their harvest with 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Oct. 29. Activities included harvesting corn for grain and soybeans, spreading manure, applying fertilizers, hauling grain, and starting fall tillage.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 7 percent short, 83 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 6 percent very short, 16 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.

Nearly a quarter of the corn for grain crop has been harvested this past week reaching 44 percent complete, but it still remains nearly two weeks behind the five-year average. Moisture content of corn being harvested for grain averaged 19 percent. East central and southeast Iowa are the only districts to have over 50 percent of their corn for grain crop harvested. There were several reports of corn yields being better than expected; however, excessive winds this past week has caused lodging in the fields. Corn condition rated 66 percent good to excellent.

Eighty-three percent of the soybean crop was harvested, six days behind average. Southwest, south central, and southeast Iowa still has a third or more of their soybean crop to harvest.

Pasture condition remained unchanged from last week at 35 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as normal, with few reports of cattle in fields feeding on stover.


Weather summary

Relatively mild weather prevailed across Iowa until a strong cold front moved across the state Oct. 26.

Daytime highs reached into the 60s over much of Iowa Oct. 22, 23, 25 and 26, with a few 70s recorded Oct. 25 and 26. About the northwest one-half of the state recorded a freeze the morning of Oct. 27, while a hard freeze impacted nearly all of Iowa the morning of Oct. 28.

Temperature extremes ranged from Oct. 26 afternoon highs of 74 degrees at Burlington, Keokuk and Le Claire to an Oct. 28 morning low of 14 degrees at Little Sioux. All reporting points recorded temperatures of 29 degrees or lower across the state Oct. 28.

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 7.8 degrees below normal.

There were several periods of light precipitation during the week, yet only a small portion of the state, mostly in the far north and east, picked up more than one-tenth of an inch of moisture. The season’s first snow flurries were recorded between Oct. 26 night and Oct. 28 morning, but only a very few northern locations saw any accumulation and that was short-lived.

Weekly precipitation totals varied from nothing measurable over much of southwest and south central Iowa to 0.38 inches at Bellevue. The statewide average was 0.02 inches while normal for the week is 0.56 inches.

It was a rather windy week, particularly Oct. 24, with 52 mph gust at Ottumwa and Oct. 27, with 59 mph gust at Sioux City.

Harry Hillaker, state climatologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship provides the preliminary weather summary.

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