Early Harvest Means Almost 25% Of Iowa’s Corn Crop Has Been Harvested
Date posted - September 18, 2012
The USDA report shows 22-percent of Iowa’s corn was harvested by Sunday. That compares to the usual 7-percent for this stage of the season. Farmers are trying to salvage a drought-damaged crop before stalks weaken further. The USDA report rates 48-percent of Iowa’s corn in poor to very poor condition. That’s a slight improvement from 52-percent one week ago. Thirty-four-percent of Iowa’s soybeans are in the poor to very poor category, down from 36-percent last week.
Twenty-seven percent of Iowa’s pasture and range land is rated in fair or better condition, a four percentage point increase from last week. Pasture and range condition is rated at 48 percent very poor, 25 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 5 percent good, and 0 percent excellent. Livestock conditions for the week were excellent. Some livestock producers are moving cattle to stalk fields.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says that the record early harvest continues and is picking up speed. He says he expects harvest to continue to advance rapidly as farmers look to get drought-stressed crops out in a timely manner.
Northey also released some safety tips for farmers and motorists to keep in mind during harvest season.
Tips for farmers include using the slow moving vehicle emblem on all appropriate tractors and equipment and making sure they are in good shape and visible. Also, be aware of and avoiding flowing grain suffocation hazards while unloading bins and wagons. Retrofitting older tractors with a rollover protective structure (ROP) is another important safety measure.
Harvest season is also a time when those traveling through rural Iowa need to be alert to potentially slow-moving equipment and should be prepared to take a little more time if necessary.
We at KIWA would like to add that equipment traveling at night can be especially hazardous. Motorists should stay alert, and farmers should make sure all lights and reflectors are in working order.
Mostly dry conditions coupled with cooler temperatures during the week aided harvest of Iowa’s crops, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Iowa Field Office. There have been a few reports of farmers completing corn harvest and moving to soybean harvest. One reporter mentioned “This is the earliest harvest I have observed in my career.” The week’s activities included row crop harvesting, fall tillage, haying CRP acres, and hauling water for livestock.
There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture level is rated at 42 percent very short, 42 percent short, 16 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture is rated at 59 percent very short, 34 percent short, 7 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus.
Eighty-eight percent of the corn crop is now mature, well ahead of last year’s 52 percent and the five year average of 44 percent. Twenty-two percent of the corn crop has been harvested for grain or seed, over three weeks ahead of normal. In fact, corn harvest is more advanced than it has been on September 16th since the NASS Iowa Field Office began keeping records. Moisture content of all corn in the field is estimated at 23 percent while the moisture content of corn being harvested is estimated at 19 percent. Corn lodging is rated at 60 percent none, 22 percent light, 13 percent moderate, and 5 percent heavy. Ear droppage is rated at 68 percent none, 22 percent light, 9 percent moderate, and 1 percent heavy. Corn condition improved slightly and is now rated at 20 percent very poor, 28 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 17 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Ninety percent of the soybean crop is turning color, ahead of last year’s 67 percent and the five year average of 75 percent. Fifty-four percent of Iowa’s soybean fields are dropping leaves, a 28 percentage point increase from last week. Six percent of the state’s soybean crop has been harvested with northwest Iowa leading the way with 12 percent. Soybean condition improved slightly and is now rated at 12 percent very poor, 22 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 25 percent good, and 2 percent excellent.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Temperatures over the past week averaged from four degrees warmer than normal over far northwest Iowa to five degrees below normal over the far southeast portion of the state. Tuesday (11th) was the warmest day in most areas with afternoon highs varying from the mid 80s east to the upper 90s west. Meanwhile afternoon highs on Thursday (13th) were only in the mid 50s southeast to upper 70s northwest while lows dropped into the 40s over most of Iowa by Friday morning. Temperature extremes varied from Thursday morning lows of 38 degrees at Belle Plaine and Stanley to Tuesday afternoon highs of 98 degrees at Little Sioux and Sioux City (setting a record high for the date). Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 0.2 degrees below normal. There was only one rain event during the week. Rain moved into western Iowa early on Wednesday and exited the southeast by Thursday evening. Rain fall of an inch or more fell over much of west central and southwest Iowa but amounts of an under one-quarter inch were the rule over southeastern parts of the state. Rain totals varied from 0.07 inches at the Dubuque Airport to 2.20 inches at Glenwood. The statewide average precipitation was 0.58 inches while normal for the week is 0.80 inches. This was the 17th week of the past 19 to bring less than normal precipitation to the state.
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