Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
“Farmers a quickly wrapping up the 2012 harvest and moving on to fall tillage and other fieldwork,” Northey said. “Harvest remains well ahead of the five-year average. Farmers are one month ahead of average with 76 percent of the corn harvested and two weeks ahead on soybeans with 80 percent harvested.”
Iowa experienced favorable weather during the first half of the week but temperatures took a sharp turn cooler at the end of the week. Corn harvest advanced 20 percentage points from last week, while soybean harvest advanced 26 percentage points according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Iowa Field Office. Northwest Iowa farmers, with 91 percent of their corn acreage harvested and 96 percent of their soybean harvested, continue to lead the way with row crop harvest in the State. Fall tillage is becoming more prevalent as harvest nears completion.
There were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture level declined to 67 percent very short, 29 percent short, 4 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture also declined slightly and is now rated 71 percent very short, 26 percent short, 3 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. Grain movement remains brisk, with 52 percent of the State seeing moderate to heavy grain movement from farm to elevator. As the harvest season advances, 99 percent of the State reports adequate or surplus off-farm storage capacity and 95 percent of the State reports adequate or surplus on-farm storage capacity.
Seventy-six percent of the corn crop has been harvested for grain or seed, one month ahead of normal. Last year at this time, less than one-quarter of Iowa’s corn crop had been harvested. Ninety-eight percent of Iowa’s soybean fields have dropped leaves, nearly a week ahead of normal. Eighty percent of the State’s soybean crop has been harvested, two weeks ahead of normal. Soybeans harvested is 24 percentage points higher than last year at this time.
Only twenty-four of Iowa’s pasture and range land is rated in fair or better condition. Pasture and range condition is rated at 52 percent very poor, 24 percent poor, 20 percent fair, 4 percent good, and 0 percent excellent. Hay supplies are considered short across 43 percent of Iowa with just over one-third of the hay supply considered in good condition. Livestock producers continue to move cattle to recently harvested fields as well as feeding hay as pasture conditions remain poor.