A fairly dry week allowed Iowa farmers to make progress on their 2016 harvest, the latest statewide USDA survey shows. As of October 30, the state’s corn crop was 71% harvested, compared with 76% for the 5-year average on this date. Soybean harvest as of Sunday was 89% done, compared with 94% for the 5-year average.
This latest weekly survey also reports some corn is being piled outside, as grain elevators and on-farm bins are full or almost full at most locations in the state. Iowa’s record corn crop and near-record soybean crop this year are filling bins up fast.
GLOBAL WARMING?: Last week was another unseasonably warm week across Iowa. The state has now had 13 consecutive weeks with temperatures averaging at or above normal, says state climatologist Harry Hillaker.
Warm temperatures this fall have helped harvest progress
“In general, last week was another good week for harvest progress across most of the state and as a result 71% of the corn and 89% of the soybeans have been harvested,” notes Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “The warm temperatures we have been seeing have aided harvest progress. However, it is important for farmers to wait until soil temperatures at the four-inch depth are 50 degrees and lower, staying in a downtrend for the rest of the fall, before applying anhydrous ammonia.”
On average, Iowa soil temperatures reach that 50 degree point and then continue cooling downward in early to mid-November, depending on whether you are in northern Iowa or southern Iowa. ISU Extension maintains a statewide real-time soil temperature data map on its website that fertilizer dealers and farmers use to determine when fall N applications are appropriate. The website can be found at extension.agron.iastate.edu/NPKnowledge.
Iowa’s harvest remains behind last year and 5-year average
Due to the wet weather and slow start for harvest earlier this fall, Iowa’s 2016 harvest is lagging behind average. The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress & Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
CROP REPORT: Corn for grain and soybean harvest progress remains behind both last year and the 5-year average, although there were 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the week ending October 30, 2016, according to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. Besides harvest, other activities included chopping and baling corn stalks, tillage and applying manure and fertilizer. There were reports of outside piling of corn for grain.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 5% short, 85% adequate and 9% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 4% short, 82% adequate and 13% surplus.
Southwest, south central Iowa still have the most beans in field
As of October 30, Iowa farmers have harvested 71% of the state’s corn crop. That’s 2 days behind the 5-year average. Moisture content of all corn being harvested remained at 17%, unchanged from the previous week. Central and southeast Iowa were the only 2 districts with over 80% of the corn for grain crop harvested. Iowa’s 2016 soybean crop was 89% harvested as of October 30, one week behind last year, and 5 days behind normal. Farmers in southwest and south central Iowa still have one-third or more of their soybean crop to harvest.
Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 68% moderate to heavy. Off-farm grain storage availability was rated 75% adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was rated 67% adequate to surplus.
Pasture condition is rated 60% good to excellent. Livestock conditions today are described as favorable, with reports of cattle in fields feeding on stover.
Last week was another unseasonably warm week across Iowa
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ended October 30, 2016
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
It was another warmer than usual week across Iowa. A few locations across northern and eastern Iowa occasionally dipped below normal for temperatures but statewide the week averaged 6.5 degrees above normal. Iowa has now had 13 consecutive weeks with temperatures averaging at or above normal. Temperature extremes for the week ranged from a Monday (Oct. 24) morning low of 29 degrees at New Hampton to Friday (Oct. 28) afternoon highs of 83 degrees at Glenwood, Red Oak and Sidney.
The only rain event of consequence came between Tuesday (Oct. 25) afternoon and Wednesday (Oct. 26) morning when showers and thunderstorms brought rain to all but west central Iowa. Heaviest rains fell across north central and northeast Iowa where one to two inch amounts were common. No rain was recorded at locations such as Mapleton, Denison, Carroll and Sac City while a point just southeast of Decorah picked up 2.96 inches. There were also some isolated showers and thunderstorms Saturday (Oct. 29) night across east central Iowa. The statewide average precipitation was 0.78 inches while normal for the week is 0.56 inches.
Soil temperatures will increase slightly with warmer air this week
Finally, soil temperatures at the four inch depth as of Sunday (Oct. 30) were averaging from 50 degrees in extreme northwest Iowa to 60 degrees over the far southeast. Soil temperatures will increase slightly over the next week with another influx of warmer air beginning on Monday.