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Serving: IA
combine in cornfield
RUNNING BEHIND: Iowa farmers have only 26% of their 2019 corn crop harvested, compared with a 53% five-year average.

Iowa corn crop 26% harvested, beans 66%

Harvest progressed across Iowa during the week ending Oct. 27, as farmers had 4.1 days suitable for fieldwork.

USDA’s weekly statewide survey released Oct. 28 shows 95% of Iowa’s corn crop has now reached maturity, nearly two weeks behind average. It shows 26% of the crop has been harvested for grain, eight days behind last year and 11 days behind average. Moisture content of corn harvested for grain was at 21% last week. Corn condition is rated 67% good-to-excellent.

For soybeans, Iowa’s crop is 10 days behind average in maturity. And 66% of the crop has been harvested, equal to last year but 6 days behind average.

“In Iowa, farmers battled wet conditions last week but most of the state got a welcome reprieve on Thursday,” notes Iowa Secretary of Ag Mike Naig. “There were lots of combines rolling through the fields over the weekend.”

Farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin are having a harder time getting their crops harvested this fall because of inclement weather. In its weekly crop progress report issued Oct. 28, USDA pegged the U.S. corn harvest at 41% complete, below the trade’s expectation of 48% and below the 5-year average of 61%. Minnesota is behind the most for corn harvest, at 22% as of Oct. 28 vs. a 56% five-year average.

The overall condition of the nation’s corn crop (USDA surveys the top 18 corn-producing states) is rated at 58% good-to-excellent, versus 56% a week ago.

For soybeans, 62% of the nation’s crop is now harvested, below the 80% five-year average, and below the trade’s expectations of 65%. Many of the major soybean-producing states are way below their five-year averages. Iowa has just 66% of its soybeans harvested vs. 80% five-year average. Minnesota has 62% of its harvest complete, versus a 93% five-year average. North Dakota is only 29% complete, versus a 91% five-year average. Wisconsin has only 46% of its soybeans harvested, versus a five-year average of 73%.

The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress & Condition Report is available on USDA’s site,

Crop report

Harvest progressed across Iowa as farmers had 4.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Oct. 27, according to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities included harvesting soybeans and corn for grain, spreading manure, applying anhydrous, and baling cornstalks.

Topsoil moisture was rated 0% very short, 1% short, 81% adequate and 18% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 0% very short, 2% short, 80% adequate and 18% surplus.

The survey shows 95% of Iowa’s corn crop has now reached maturity, nearly two weeks behind average. It shows 26% of the crop has been harvested for grain, eight days behind last year and 11 days behind average. Moisture content of field corn being harvested for grain was at 21% last week. Corn condition rated 67% good-to-excellent.

For soybeans, 97% of the Iowa crop has begun dropping leaves or beyond, 10 days behind average. And 66% of the crop has been harvested, equal to last year but six days behind average.

Most of Iowa’s pasture regrowth has gone dormant with cooler temperatures this past week. Pasture condition rated 48% good-to-excellent. Mud continues to be an issue in feedlots and some livestock have struggled with temperature fluctuations.

Weekly weather

An active weather pattern brought above average rainfall to much of the state’s north-central corridor with near to slightly below average totals across the rest of Iowa. Unseasonable coolness persisted across the state with temperature departure up to 6 degrees below average. Statewide average temperature was 42.5 degrees, 6.9 degrees colder than expected.

That’s the summary for the week ended Oct. 27. Justin Glisan, state climatologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture, provides the following daily report.

A narrow band of showers and a few thunderstorms streamed into Iowa ahead of a low- pressure system through the evening hours on Sunday (Oct. 20). The complex expanded and covered much of Iowa’s eastern half into the early-morning hours on Monday. Another wave of showers formed across central Iowa and moved east as the low spread to the northeast. Two-day rain totals were highest across central Iowa with Clive (Polk County) reporting 2.17 inches of rain. Over 100 stations reported totals at or above 1 inch with the statewide average at 0.73 inch.

As the system moved into Wisconsin, additional showers formed on the backside of the low along with strong winds out of the southwest, gradually shifting to westerly direction. Wind speeds reached 20 to 30 mph, with higher 5-second sustained wind gusts. Estherville Municipal Airport (Emmet County) reported a gust of 60 mph.

The gusty winds gradually receded though daytime hours on Tuesday (Oct. 22) along with clearing skies. Highs reached into the low to mid-50s, up to 15 degrees cooler than average, with the statewide high of 52 degrees, 7 degrees below normal.

Rain showers moved through Iowa during the morning and afternoon hours on Wednesday as a low-pressure system moved through the state’s southern half. Measurable totals were highest in northwest Iowa with Storm Lake (Buena Vista County) reporting 0.40 inch. Totals across the rest of Iowa were generally between 0.10 and 0.30 inch. Daytime highs were also well below normal, ranging from 40s north to lower 60s south

Thursday and Friday were dry and unseasonably cold with partly to mostly sunny skies as high pressure dominated the Midwest. Thursday’s highs peaked in the mid- to upper 40s, with overnight lows in the upper 20s and lower 30s. Daytime highs on Friday rebounded into the middle 50s, with winds out of the south. Remnants of Tropical Storm Olga brought light rain showers into southeast Iowa during the afternoon on Saturday (Oct. 26).

Temp range: 68 to 20 degrees

Partly cloudy conditions were observed across the rest of the state. Rain totals ranged from 0.06 inch in Muscatine (Muscatine County) to 0.34 inch at Le Claire Lock and Dam (Scott County). A weak cold front entered Iowa overnight into Sunday (Oct. 27), shifting winds and bringing cloud cover across western Iowa.

Statewide overnight lows averaged 29 degrees, 7 degrees below normal. Weekly rain totals ranged from 0.10 inch at Sigourney (Keokuk County) to 2.25 inches in Clive (Polk County). Statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.88 inch, while normal is 0.56 inch.

The week’s high temperature of 68 degrees was reported Oct. 21 in Burlington (Des Moines County), 6 degrees above average. Cresco (Howard County) reported the week’s low temperature of 20 degrees on Oct.

TAGS: Weather
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