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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017
AGRICULTURE

Iowa harvest lagging behind

Oct 24, 2017

DES MOINES — Iowa farmers had a good week for harvesting with five days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Monday, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, however, corn and soybean harvest is behind average. On the positive side, there were several reports for both corn and soybeans that yields were better than expected.

“Much of the state finally received some nice harvest weather and farmers took advantage and harvested 10 percent of the corn and 29 percent of the beans in the state,” said Mike Naig, Iowa deputy secretary of agriculture. “Unfortunately, harvest for both corn and beans remain significantly behind the 5-year average and at the slowest pace since 2009.”

The Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report, released weekly from April through October, is also 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, activities for the week included harvesting corn for grain and soybeans, spreading manure, applying fertilizer, and starting fall tillage.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 6 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 7 percent very short, 15 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.

Nearly all of the corn for grain crop had reached maturity or beyond, three days behind average. Twenty-three percent of the corn for grain crop has been harvested, remaining the smallest percentage harvested by this date since 2009 and over two weeks behind average. Moisture content of corn being harvested for grain averaged 20 percent. Corn condition rated 64 percent good to excellent.

Nearly a third of the soybean crop was harvested this past week increasing to 61 percent harvested, but this is also the smallest percentage harvested by this date since 2009. Southwest and south central Iowa remain the only districts to not reach 50 percent harvested. Soybean condition rated 64 percent good to excellent.

Pasture conditions have continued to improve for the fourth week in a row from recent rains to 35 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as good, with reports of some cattle being turned out to graze cornstalks. Feedlots remain muddy.

 

Weather summary

A welcome period of dry weather prevailed from Oct. 15-20, with rain returning between the mornings of Oct. 21 and Oct. 22.

Weekend rain totals of around an inch were common across central Iowa — roughly within 60 miles of Interstate 35 — with a maximum reported total of 2.67 inches at Toledo. Meanwhile, less than one-tenth of an inch of rain fell for the week over far northwestern Iowa, with only 0.01 inches reported at Orange City.

The statewide average rain amount was 0.67 inches while normal for the week is 0.56 inches. This pushes the month-to-date statewide average rain total to 5.29 inches, the fourth highest October total among 145 years of records — behind 1881, 1941 and 2009.

Meanwhile the week began with seasonal temperatures on Oct. 15 and Oct. 16 with a light freeze scattered across portions of the northwest one-half of the state the morning of Oct. 16.

Well above normal temperatures prevailed for the remainder of the week until a cold front moved across the state the night of Oct. 21. A few scattered locations reached 80 degrees on Oct. 17, 19, 20 and 21, with a maximum of 82 degrees at Burlington on Oct. 21. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 7.5 degrees above normal.

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

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