Iowa: Corn Harvest Reaches Halfway Mark – USDA

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending October 25, 2015.

    Warm, dry, and windy conditions allowed Iowa farmers to harvest nearly one-quarter of the State’s corn for grain during the week ending October 18, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.9 days suitable for fieldwork, the most days suitable for fieldwork this season.

    Fieldwork activities for the week included harvesting corn for grain, harvesting soybeans, fall tilling, and spreading manure. Reported concerns for the week included field fires due to the dry, windy conditions, and stalk quality with a few reports of wind damage.

    Topsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 22 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 13 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.

    Virtually all of the corn crop was mature or beyond this week, one week ahead of last year, and 2 days ahead of the 5-year average. Fifty-two percent of the corn for grain has been harvested, nearly 2 weeks ahead of last year, and equal to the average. Moisture content of all corn being harvested was 17 percent, down 2 percentage points from the previous week.

    Ninety-seven percent of soybeans were dropping leaves or beyond, 2 days behind normal. Eighty-three percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, 10 days ahead of last year, and 2 days ahead of average.

    Pasture condition rated 58 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were described as excellent.

    Provided by Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist
    Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

    Iowa experienced another very dry week with nothing more than sprinkles anywhere in the state over the past week. Normal precipitation for the week is 0.56 inches. The reporting week began with unseasonably warm weather with high temperatures reaching 78 degrees at Burlington and Donnellson on Monday (12th). Temperatures from Tuesday (13th) through Thursday (15th) averaged slightly above normal with highs mostly in the low 60s north and east and low 70s west and south.

    However, there was a freeze over parts of northeast Iowa on Wednesday (14th) morning with temperatures down to 30 degrees at Cresco, Decorah, Elkader and Stanley. Much colder air moved through Iowa late Thursday and persisted through Saturday (17th) night.

    A freeze was recorded over much of the northwest one-third of the state on Friday morning with a minimum of 27 degrees at Spencer with scattered frost in valley bottom locations elsewhere. However, the coldest weather of the week arrived on Saturday morning with a hard freeze over most of the northeast one-half of the state. Stanley in Buchanan County recorded the lowest temperature with a 19 degree reading Saturday.

    Another freeze occurred across the north and east on Sunday (18th) morning but readings were generally not as cold as the previous night. Much warmer air made a rapid return to western Iowa on Sunday with Logan reaching 73 degrees.

    The growing season has ended now over most of the northeast one-half of Iowa. However a freeze has yet to occur over much of southwestern and south central Iowa with the exception of some colder valley-bottom locations.

    Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from a degree or two below normal across the east to two to three degrees above normal over the far west with a statewide average of 0.3 degrees below normal. Soil temperatures as of Sunday (18th) were averaging in the upper forties northeast to the middle fifties southwest. However much warmer weather will push these soil temperature averages well into the fifties northeast and sixties southwest by Monday.

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