Iowa farmers used the 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork to harvest 10% of the state’s corn crop during the week ending November 16, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Cold temperatures and snow halted most other activities during the week, but some corn stalks were baled, and manure hauled.
Ninety-two percent of Iowa’s corn acreage was harvested, equal to 2013 but 2 days ahead of the five-year average. This was the first time this season that corn harvest was ahead of the normal pace. Corn harvest in south central Iowa continued to trail behind the rest of the state with only 79 percent complete. Soybean harvest was nearing completion with 98 percent of the acreage harvested.
Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 48 percent moderate to heavy, dropping 12 percentage points from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability was rated at 84 percent adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was 79 percent adequate to surplus.
Hay and roughage supplies were estimated at 97 percent adequate to surplus. Cold and snowy conditions tested livestock, and some farmers have started to feed hay.
It was a snowy and very cold week across Iowa. The week began with mild weather on Sunday (9th) with highs in the 40’s and 50’s and some very light rain showers across far northern Iowa. A strong cold front moved across the state on Monday (10th) bringing widespread light snowfall. Highs on Monday were only in the low 30’s over the far northwest while ahead of the front temperatures reached 72 degrees at Keosauqua. Daytime high temperatures were mostly in the twenties for the remainder of the week although north central Iowa reached only the mid-teens for highs on Saturday. The lowest temperature so far this season was set at Sibley on Wednesday (12th) morning at 7 degrees.
However, readings fell much lower on Friday (14th) morning with Little Sioux down to minus 2 degrees and colder yet on Sunday (16th) morning with minus 8 degrees at Sioux Center, Sheldon and Lake Okoboji. Sunday morning’s temperatures were the lowest recorded in Iowa for so early in the season since 1991 when Hawarden recorded -19 degrees on November 7. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 11.5 degrees below normal. Meanwhile, snow fell statewide on Monday into Tuesday morning with greatest amounts of an inch or two across north central Iowa.
Snow flurries were common statewide on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday was dry. Snow began Saturday (15th) morning across northwest Iowa and spread statewide by the end of the day. Greatest snow accumulations were across northwest Iowa with 5.5 inches at Ringsted in Emmet County. An inch or more snow accumulated across all but extreme southeast edge of the state. The statewide average precipitation (rain and the liquid equivalent of the snowfall) for the week was 0.19 inches while normal is 0.49 inches. Precipitation totals varied from 0.03 inches at Keokuk to 0.40 inches at Lester (Lyon County). As of Sunday (16th) soils were frozen to a depth of two to four inches below the surface.