Nearly perfect conditions this past week allowed fields to dry and the continued good weather this week is giving Iowa farmers the opportunity to make significant progress harvesting both corn and soybeans. USDA's October 4 weekly weather and crop conditions survey shows Iowa already has 19% of the state's corn harvested, and 38% of the soybeans harvested.
Iowa's corn crop is rated 67% good to excellent, unchanged from the previous week. Soybean conditions are 69% good to excellent also unchanged. Crop reporters indicate yield losses in corn due to nitrogen deficiency and yield losses in many bean fields due to sudden death syndrome disease.
Both the Iowa corn and soybean harvests this fall are running ahead of last year and the 5-year average. Corn at 19% harvested is a week ahead of average but over 4 weeks ahead of 2009. Soybeans at 38% harvested are ahead of the 18% that was completed at this time last year and the 5-year average of 37% complete. Moisture content of all corn in the field is now estimated at 21% moisture, while the moisture content of corn being harvested is 18% moisture.
USDA October Crop Report will update 2010 crop size
USDA will issue its October Crop Report on Friday Oct. 8, updating its 2010 crop size estimates issued in September. Last month, USDA forecast the nation's corn harvest at 162 bushels per acre, down from 164 bushels per acre in 2009. Two private forecasting companies, Informa and Allendale, have estimated the 2010 U.S. corn crop at 159 bushels per acre.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, December corn rallied to close at $4.71 on Monday Oct. 4 and soybeans for November delivery closed at $10.53 per bushel. The market was boosted Monday by reports that Russia will be shopping for corn because crops in that country were damaged by drought this year.
"Throughout Iowa, conditions continue to be mostly sunny and breezy this week," notes Harry Hillaker, state climatologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture. Temperatures are ranging from daytime highs in the 70-degree range to overnight lows in the 30s to 40s.
Iowa's corn crop is now 97% mature and safe from frost
Ninety-seven percent of the state's corn acres are now at or beyond maturity, which means they are safe from frost, he says. Leaves have begun to drop or have dropped on 90% of the state's soybean acres.
Minor lodging is being found in some corn and soybean fields, due to winds and rain earlier this fall. Soybean lodging is rated at 80% none, 16% light, 4% moderate and zero percent heavy. Corn lodging is rated at 76% none, 19% light 4% moderate and 1% heavy. Corn ear droppage is rated at 82% none, 15% light, 3% moderate and zero percent heavy.