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Serving: United States
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CATCHING UP: Thanks to drier weather, Iowa has 72% of its corn crop harvested as of Nov. 4. That’s still behind the five-year average of 76%.

Iowa corn harvest 72% complete, soybeans 88%

Harvest 2018 gains momentum as drier weather allowed combines to roll last week.

Iowa farmers were again able to make good progress last week, and now 72% of the state’s corn and 88% of the soybeans have been harvested. That’s according to the latest weekly USDA statewide survey, based on conditions as of Nov. 4.

Corn harvest in Iowa is now just one day behind average, but soybean harvest is still six days behind the five-year average. Unfortunately, significant rainfall has returned to much of the state as of Nov. 5 and that has likely stalled harvest for several days.

“This has been a very challenging fall not just to harvest crops, but also to complete other activities such as installing conservation practices, seeding cover crops and baling cornstalks,” notes Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture.

The 2018 U.S. corn harvest is now 76% finished, slightly behind the five-year average of 77% for this date. The U.S. soybean harvest is now 83% complete, lagging the 89% five-year average. Nebraska has 65% of its corn harvested as of Nov. 4, which is behind its average of 72% harvested. North Dakota only has 49% of its corn harvested, compared to a five-year average of 62% for Nov. 4.

The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress and Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship website at or on USDA’s site at

Crop report
Iowa farmers had another good week for harvesting with 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Nov. 4, according to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting corn and soybeans, baling stalks, applying anhydrous and manure, performing fall tillage, repairing tile, and planting cover crops.

Topsoil moisture for the statewide average rated zero very short, 1% short, 71% adequate and 28% surplus. Subsoil moisture rated zero very short, 2% short, 71% adequate and 27% surplus.

As of Nov. 4, the survey showed 72% of Iowa’s 2018 corn crop has been harvested, three days ahead of last year but one day behind the five-year average.

Farmers in central Iowa have harvested 80% of their corn for grain harvested, while farmers in southwest Iowa have 45% of their corn for grain remaining to be harvested.

Moisture content of field corn being harvested in Iowa averaged 17%. Soybean harvest, figuring a statewide average, was 88% complete, two days behind last year and six days behind the average.

Recent rains have left some feedlot cattle stressed with standing water and muddy conditions, while other feedlots and farms reported livestock conditions as very good.

Weather summary
According to Justin Glisan, IDALS climatologist, much of Iowa had slightly warmer-than-average temperatures from the end of October into early November. Temperatures were around 2 degrees warmer than normal. The reporting period for the week ending Nov. 4 saw above-average rainfall mainly in eastern Iowa with many locations between 0.40 to 0.80 inch above normal.

Light rain showers moved across eastern Iowa on Oct. 29, with only a handful of stations reporting measurable rainfall. Cedar Rapids in Linn County reported 0.11 inch.

Widespread and heavier rain fell on Oct. 30 as a cold front swept across Iowa. Afternoon thunderstorms quickly formed and moved into Illinois. Maquoketa in Jackson County observed 1.67 inches, 1.58 inches above normal. Keokuk in Lee County reported 0.50 inch as the front slowly moved southeast.

Oct. 31 was a quiet day and high pressure controlled the pattern. Conditions were partly to mostly sunny with highs in the upper 50s. A low-pressure system gradually moved into northwest Iowa late Nov. 1 into Nov. 2, bringing rain showers to parts of western Iowa. Showers developed during the late afternoon in southeast Iowa.

A second low-pressure system slowly moved through the region Nov. 3 into Nov. 4, bringing widespread, measurable rainfall to much of Iowa. Total accumulations over this period ranged from a few tenths of an inch to well over an inch.

Anamosa in Jones County had 1.48 inches. Cloud cover kept daytime highs cooler than normal, ranging from upper 40s to lower 50s and overnight lows warmer than average.

Bloomfield in Davis County reported the week’s high of 71 degrees F Oct. 29, 12 degrees above average. The week’s coldest overnight low of 25 degrees was recorded in multiple counties in northwest Iowa on Nov. 1, about 6 degrees cooler than normal.


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