Iowa: Dry Conditions Allow for Hay Cutting, Harvesting – USDA

    Mostly dry conditions allowed Iowa farmers to harvest one-quarter of the State’s soybean crop during the week ending October 4, 2015, according the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork.

    Fieldwork activities for the week included cutting hay and harvesting soybeans and corn for grain. In some areas, farmers are waiting for their crops to dry down before harvesting. There were also reports of manure being spread.

    Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 6 percent short, 86 percent adequate, and 8 percent surplus.

    Subsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 83 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.

    Ninety percent of the corn crop was mature, 8 days ahead of last year, and 3 days ahead of the 5-year average. Thirteen percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, 10 days ahead of last year, but 8 days behind average. Moisture content of all corn being harvested was at 21 percent, down 3 percentage points from the previous week. Corn condition rated 80 percent good to excellent.

    Ninety-seven percent of soybeans were turning color or beyond, while 86 percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, 2 days ahead of normal. Thirty-two percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, one week ahead of last year, but 1 day behind average. Soybean condition rated 77 percent good to excellent.

    The third cutting of alfalfa hay is 96 percent complete, 3 days ahead last year but 8 days behind the average. Pasture condition rated 65 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were described as excellent, with scattered reports of calves being weaned.

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