DES MOINES – 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.
“Harvest is starting to pick up speed with five percent of both the corn and soybean crop now out of the field. Early reports from farmers show yields vary widely across the state,” Northey said. “It is likely the pace of harvest will continue to increase as the warm dry weather has helped the crop dry down in the field.”
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
Mostly dry weather allowed the harvesting of corn and soybeans to both reach 5 percent complete during the week ending September 29, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork. Other activities for the week included chopping corn silage, harvesting seed corn, and seeding cover crops.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 35 percent very short, 40 percent short, 25 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 41 percent very short, 39 percent short, 20 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Southeast Iowa remained the driest with over 50 percent of the topsoil moisture rated in the very short category.
Ninety-five percent of the corn crop had reached the dented stage or beyond, 3 percentage points behind normal. Sixty-one percent of corn was mature, behind the normal 76 percent. Only five percent of the corn had been harvested for grain or seed, two weeks behind normal. Moisture content of all corn in the field was estimated at 28 percent while moisture content of corn harvested was estimated at 23 percent. Corn lodging was rated at 71 percent none, 22 percent light, 6 percent moderate and 1 percent heavy. Corn condition was 8 percent very poor, 18 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 32 percent good and 4 percent excellent. Eighty-eight percent of soybeans had turned color, 8 percentage points behind normal. Fifty-one percent of the crop had dropped leaves, 9 days behind normal pace. Five percent of soybeans had been harvested, 16 percentage points behind normal. Soybean lodging was rated at 86 percent none, 12 percent light, 2 percent moderate and 0 percent heavy. Soybean shattering was rated at 86 percent none, 12 percent light, 2 percent moderate and 0 percent heavy. Soybean condition improved slightly to 9 percent very poor, 18 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 31 percent good and 4 percent excellent.
With recent rains, pasture condition has improved and was rated 28 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 12 percent good and 1 percent excellent. Stress on livestock was minimal this week, and some calves were weaned early to take advantage of good prices.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
It was a warm and relatively dry week across Iowa. Temperatures were above normal through the entire week in most areas with the warmest weather coming on Thursday (26th) and Friday (27th) when highs were mostly in the 80’s. A cold front moved across Iowa on Saturday (28th) but not before temperatures climbed to near 80 in the east. Temperature extremes for the week ranged from a Friday afternoon high of 90 degrees at Spencer to a Sunday (29th) morning low of 35 degrees at Emmetsburg. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from 2 to 3 degrees above normal over the east to 9 degrees above normal northwest with a statewide average of 5.4 degrees above normal. Much of the week was dry. However, light rain fell over parts of the southwest one-third of the state on Tuesday (24th) morning and over the western one-quarter of Iowa on Friday (27th) morning. Light to moderate rain fell statewide on Saturday (28th) as the cold front advanced across the state. Rain totals for the week varied from 0.05 inches at Mason City and Le Claire to 0.82 inches at Allerton in Wayne County. The statewide average precipitation was 0.28 inches while normal for the week is 0.74 inches.