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Iowa Bean Harvest Wrapping Up, Corn Harvest 66% Completed

Iowa Bean Harvest Wrapping Up, Corn Harvest 66% Completed

Nice weather has 2010 harvest running ahead of normal in Iowa, as farmers have taken advantage of warm and dry conditions this month.

Almost all of Iowa's 2010 soybean acres have been harvested and two-thirds of the corn crop is already harvested. That's what the latest weekly weather and crop survey, released October 18 by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service, shows for the state.

Harvest continued nearly unabated last week in Iowa as dry weather allowed farmers to stay in the field almost the entire week. With 66% of the corn and 94% of the soybeans now harvested, this fall is one of the earliest harvests in recent memory. A year ago only 9% of the corn crop had been harvested because of last fall's very wet weather. "What a difference a year makes," notes Harry Hillaker, state climatologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

USDA says 69% of the corn crop is rated good to excellent. The weekly report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website at or on USDA's site at

A number of field fires and equipment fires have been reported

With extended periods of warm, dry weather growers have been able to harvest day and night. Long hours in the field have meant almost all the soybeans have been combined as of October 18 and over half the corn has been harvested. Iowa is well ahead of normal in its harvest progression, which should leave time for fall tillage, fertilizing and installing tile. One downside to the summer-like conditions has been the number of field and equipment fires reported.

Mark Brown, age 59, of Anita in western Iowa, was killed last Thursday when his combine caught fire. Last week firefighters had to put out another fire near Moulton, which caused no injuries.

Corn is coming out of fields dry, saving drying cost this fall

Moisture content of all corn remaining in the field is estimated at 16%, while the moisture content of corn being harvested is estimated at 14%, according to the October 18 survey report. Corn lodging is rated 72% none, 21% light, 6% moderate and 1% heavy. Ear droppage is 80% none, 15% light, 4% moderate and 1% heavy. Corn condition rates 3% very poor, 8% poor, 20% fair, 47% good and 22% excellent.

Soybean acres harvested increased 14% points to 94% complete, 4 weeks ahead of last year and 3 weeks ahead of the 5-year average and the furthest ahead soybean harvest has been by October 17 since 1987 when 97% of the acres had been harvested. Grain movement statewide is reported at 14% none, 20% light, 38% moderate and 28% heavy. On-farm storage availability is rated 18% short, 76% adequate and 6% surplus, while off-farm storage availability is rated 14% short, 78% adequate and 8% surplus.

Livestock, pasture and range report: Pasture and range condition rate 3% very poor, 8% poor, 37% fair, 41% good and 11% excellent. Hay and roughage availability is currently rated 12% short, 75% adequate and 13% surplus.

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