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Northey comments on Iowa crops and weather report

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 continues at a rapid pace resulting in corn and soybean progress ahead of average for the first time this year,” Northey said. “High moisture content and limited propane supplies have created some challenges for farmers needing to dry down the crop for storage.”

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:

Crop report

Corn harvest advanced rapidly in Iowa during the week ending November 3, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. With corn harvest advancing ahead of the normal pace, this marked the first time all season corn progress was ahead of the 5-year average. Statewide there were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Other activities for the week included fall tillage, manure hauling, and nitrogen application. Some farmers were waiting to harvest high moisture corn or were storing it on-farm to avoid extra drying costs.

Recent rains and cool weather improved soil moisture levels. Topsoil moisture levels rated 14 percent very short, 29 percent short, 56 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 26 percent very short, 38 percent short, 35 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 56 percent moderate to heavy. Ninety-five percent of Iowa reported adequate or surplus off-farm grain storage availability and 87 percent reported adequate or surplus on-farm grain storage availability.

Iowa farmers harvested 20 percent of their corn for grain or seed for the second week in a row. Seventy-five percent has now been harvested, 4 percentage points ahead of normal. Soybean harvest increased 8 percentage points and stands at 95 percent complete, 4 days ahead of normal.

Pasture condition rated 22 percent very poor, 28 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 17 percent good and 1 percent excellent. Some farmers reported weaning calves and moving livestock to graze on corn stubble. Hay supplies were considered 15 percent short, 76 percent adequate, and 9 percent surplus across Iowa with half rated in good condition.

Iowa preliminary weather summary

By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Temperatures over the past reporting week averaged right at seasonal normals with extremes varying from a Sunday (27th) afternoon high of 70 degrees at Sioux City to lows of 22 degrees at Elkader and Maquoketa on the next Sunday (3rd) morning. Dry weather prevailed statewide on Sunday (27th) and Saturday (2nd). Light rain fell over far western Iowa on Monday (28th) and across the west one-third of the state on Tuesday (29th). Rain fell statewide on Wednesday (30th) with just sprinkles or very light accumulations over the far north to widespread amounts over two inches across the southeast one-quarter of the state. Light rain persisted over the southeast one-half of Iowa on Thursday (31st) with scattered light rain over the south one-half on Friday (1st). Weekly rain totals varied from just a trace at Saint Ansgar to 3.56 inches at Centerville. The statewide average precipitation was 0.82 inches while normal for the week is 0.55 inches. Soil temperatures as of Sunday (3rd) were averaging in the mid 40’s statewide.

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