Farm Progress

Weekly survey shows this year's corn harvest is 98% complete as of Nov. 20 in Iowa

Rod Swoboda 1, Editor, Wallaces Farmer

November 24, 2016

4 Min Read
ALMOST DONE: Harvesting Iowa’s record 2016 corn crop is nearly finished, as 98% of the crop is in the bin. USDA’s weekly survey shows as of Nov. 20 southwest and south-central Iowa had 8% of their corn and 5% of their beans still in the field.

Harvest in Iowa this fall is now nearly complete with 98% of the corn harvested statewide, compared with 97% for the five-year average. Southwest and south-central Iowa still have approximately 8% of their corn crop and 5% of their soybean crop in the field. That’s according to USDA’s latest weekly survey, based on conditions statewide as of November 20.

Iowa had nearly a full week of good weather for fieldwork last week. Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 51% moderate to heavy, down 4% from the previous week. Off-farm storage availability was rated 63% adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was rated 58% adequate to surplus.

Another record big year for Iowa corn crop, as well as soybeans
“It has been another record setting growing season in Iowa where farmers have set records on yields and total production for both corn and soybeans,” observes Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday it is another reminder of how fortunate we are to be involved in the agriculture industry in this great state.”

The USDA weekly survey showed corn harvest nationwide as of November 20 is also almost finished. It shows 97% of the U.S. 2016 corn crop is now in the bin, which is 1% ahead of the five-year average.

The complete weekly Iowa Crop & Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship website or on USDA’s site The report summary follows here:

Good weather last week in Iowa saw lots fieldwork getting done
CROP REPORT: Harvest activities were virtually completed during the week ending November 20, 2016 according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Although parts of northwest Iowa received snow, activities for the state during the week included harvesting, baling corn- stalks, tiling, terracing, hauling and spreading manure, and anhydrous application.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 3% very short, 14% short, 80% adequate and 3% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2% very short, 9% short, 81% adequate and 8% surplus.

Survey shows 98% of Iowa’s 2016 corn crop is now harvested
As of November 20, the survey shows 98% of Iowa’s corn crop for grain has been harvested, two days ahead of the five-year average. Moisture content of all corn for grain being harvested in Iowa was 16%. Southwest and south-central Iowa were still lagging slightly behind with approximately 8% of their corn crop and 5% of their soybeans remaining to be harvested.

Grain movement from farm to elevator in Iowa was rated 51% moderate to heavy, down 4 percentage points from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability was rated 63% adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was rated 58% adequate to surplus. Livestock conditions were described as “good and many fields have cows out grazing in the cornstalks.”

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ended November 20, 2016
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

The exceptionally mild run of late autumn weather finally came to an end with a strong cold front moving across the state on Friday (Nov. 18). A storm system associated with the frontal passage brought the first accumulating snow of the season to the far northwest corner of Iowa on Friday (Nov. 18) with 4.5 inches of snow reported near Lester in Lyon County and 3.5 inches at Sioux Center.

Northwest corner of state had first snow in Iowa so far this fall
Measurable rainfall was limited to portions of the northwest one-half of the state with amounts mostly under one-tenth of an inch although the moisture equivalent of the snowfall was a quarter-inch or greater along and northwest of a Sioux City to Estherville line. No measurable precipitation fell across the southeast one-half of the state.

Statewide average precipitation was only 0.05 inches while normal for the week is 0.48 inches. Temperatures were far above normal from Monday (Nov. 14 ) through Thursday (Nov. 17) with the highest temperatures occurring on Thursday when Ottumwa, Donnellson and Mount Pleasant reached 77 degrees. Mild weather held on into late Friday morning over eastern Iowa with temperatures in the 60s.

Temperatures for the week averaged 7.3 degrees above normal
The coldest weather so far this season prevailed over the weekend with daytime highs reaching only 26 degrees on Saturday (Nov. 19) at Rock Rapids and Sibley while Rock Rapids reported a Sunday (Nov. 20) morning low of 13 degrees. The cold weather finally broke a string of 28 consecutive days with above normal statewide average temperatures (Oct. 22 through Nov. 18). Temperatures for the week as a whole statewide averaged 7.3 degrees above normal.

About the Author(s)

Rod Swoboda 1

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Rod, who has been a member of the editorial staff of Wallaces Farmer magazine since 1976, was appointed editor of the magazine in April 2003. He is widely recognized around the state, especially for his articles on crop production and soil conservation topics, and has won several writing awards, in addition to honors from farm, commodity and conservation organizations.

"As only the tenth person to hold the position of Wallaces Farmer editor in the past 100 years, I take seriously my responsibility to provide readers with timely articles useful to them in their farming operations," Rod says.

Raised on a farm that is still owned and operated by his family, Rod enjoys writing and interviewing farmers and others involved in agriculture, as well as planning and editing the magazine. You can also find Rod at other Farm Progress Company activities where he has responsibilities associated with the magazine, including hosting the Farm Progress Show, Farm Progress Hay Expo and the Iowa Master Farmer program.

A University of Illinois grad with a Bachelors of Science degree in agriculture (ag journalism major), Rod joined Wallaces Farmer after working several years in Washington D.C. as a writer for Farm Business Incorporated.

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