Harvest continues to advance and remain ahead of the five-year average for both corn and soybeans in Iowa. Farmers have been able to make good progress and the light showers seen statewide in the past week have not caused significant delay and helped address some of the fire risk seen in fields in recent weeks.
That's the summary of the latest Iowa Crops & Weather Report, issued October 17, 2011 by the Iowa Office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service in Des Moines. The complete weekly report is based on a statewide survey as of October 16 and 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. Here are some highlights:
Grain Storage Availability (as of October 16, 2011)
Short Adequate Surplus
On-farm, grain storage 9% 83% 8%
Off-farm, grain storage 4% 85% 11%
Farmers statewide had 45% of the Iowa corn harvested as of Oct. 16 and 87% of the soybeans harvested. Corn lodging is reported as 54% none, 25% light, 15% moderate and 6% of the state's fields have heavy lodging. Corn ear droppage is reported as 70% none, 19% light, 8% moderate and 3% heavy.
Fall tillage has already been done on some fields, but little ammonia applied
Light showers slowed harvest a bit, but progress remains well ahead of the normal pace. Fall tillage has already been completed on some fields, but little ammonia has been applied. Terrace and waterway work is progressing where harvest is complete.
There were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 28% very short, 39% short, 32% adequate, and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 25% very short, 40% short, 34% adequate and 1% surplus. Grain movement remains brisk, with 54% of the state seeing moderate to heavy grain movement from farm to elevator. As the harvest season advances, 4% of the state reports being short off-farm storage capacity and 9% of the state reports a shortage of on-farm storage capacity.
Virtually all of Iowa's corn crop is now mature. As of Oct. 16 about 45% of the corn crop has been harvested for grain or seed, 4 days behind 2010 but 8 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn condition stands at 4% very poor, 8% poor, 27% fair, 48% good and 13% excellent.
Farmers half finished with corn harvest, soybean harvest nearly complete
Nearly all of Iowa's soybeans have dropped their leaves although southern Iowa lags slightly behind the rest of the state. Soybean harvest advanced to 87% complete, behind last year's 92% but over 2 weeks ahead of the average pace. Over three-quarters of the soybean crop has been harvested in all districts except South Central Iowa.
Pasture and range condition rates 19% very poor, 23% poor, 33% fair, 21% good and 4% excellent. Hay supplies are considered short in 21% of Iowa this fall. Some livestock producers are moving cattle to stalk fields as well as feeding hay as pasture conditions are poor.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—as of October 16, 2011
By Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Dept. of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
The past reporting week began with temperatures well above normal on Monday (Oct. 10) and Tuesday (Oct. 11) with highs mostly in the 70s with a gradual cooling trend that brought temperatures back down to seasonal values by the weekend. Temperature extremes varied from afternoon highs of 80 degrees at Donnellson, Keokuk and Winterset on Monday and again at Keosauqua on Tuesday down to a low of 30 degrees at Sibley on Saturday (Oct. 15) morning. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 4.6 degrees above normal.
Light rain showers were scattered over the state on Monday and Tuesday while thunderstorms brought the state's heaviest rain in over a month on Wednesday. Light rain fell over the northeast one-third of Iowa on Thursday and Saturday while most areas were dry on Friday and Sunday. Rain totals for the week varied from just a trace at Centerville to 2.46 inches at Winterset. The statewide average precipitation was 0.65 inch or just slightly above the weekly normal of 0.58 inch. This was Iowa's wettest week in six weeks. Soil temperatures as of Sunday (Oct. 16) were averaging in the mid 50s statewide.