Field conditions throughout Iowa improved allowing farmers 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 20, 2019, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities included chopping silage; applying fertilizer and manure; and harvesting hay, seed corn, soybeans, and corn for grain.
Topsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 21 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 20 percent surplus.
Eighty-seven percent of the corn crop has reached maturity, 3 weeks behind last year and over 2 weeks behind the 5-year average. Fifteen percent of the crop has been harvested for grain, 11 days behind average. Corn condition rated 66 percent good to excellent. Ninety-four percent of the soybean crop has begun dropping leaves or beyond, 9 days behind average. Over 30 percent of the State’s expected soybean crop was harvested during the week ending October 20, 2019. This brought the total harvested to 48 percent statewide, 4 days ahead of last year but 5 days behind average. This marks the first time the 2019 soybean crop has been ahead of the 2018 soybean crop; harvest of last year’s crop was also behind average due to wet field conditions. Soybean condition rated 65 percent good to excellent. The third cutting of alfalfa hay is nearly complete at 97 percent, almost 3 weeks behind average. Pasture condition improved from the previous week to 50 percent good to excellent which was the highest rating since the first week of August. Feedlots remain muddy.