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Northey: wet weather could slow harvest

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 11:36 a.m. CST

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather weekly report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.

“It was a busy week in farm fields across the state as 20 percent of the corn crop and 17 percent of soybeans were harvested,” Northey said. “Farmers worked long hours to make as much progress as possible since wet weather is forecast for the week ahead that could again slow harvest.”

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:

Corn and soybean harvest advanced rapidly in Iowa during the week ending October 27, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. With soybean harvest now slightly ahead of normal, this marked the first time all season soybean progress was ahead of the 5-year average. Statewide there were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork. Other activities for the week included fall tillage, as well as liquid manure and fertilizer applications. Snow fell in the northern part of the state, and a killing frost finally reached southern Iowa. 

Topsoil moisture levels rated 21 percent very short, 32 percent short, 47 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 31 percent very short, 36 percent short, 33 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 60 percent moderate to heavy. Ninety-six percent of Iowa reported adequate or surplus off-farm grain storage availability and 88 percent reported adequate or surplus on-farm grain storage availability. 

Iowa farmers harvested 20 percent of their corn for grain or seed during the week. Fifty-five percent has now been harvested, 5 percentage points behind normal. Moisture content of all corn in the field was estimated at 21 percent while moisture content of corn harvested was 19 percent. Corn lodging was rated at 65 percent none, 21 percent light, 11 percent moderate and 3 percent heavy. Corn ear droppage was rated at 75 percent none, 16 percent light, 8 percent moderate and 1 percent heavy. Corn condition was 5 percent very poor, 13 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 40 percent good and 9 percent excellent. Soybean harvest increased 17 percentage points and stands at 87 percent complete, 2 days ahead of normal. 

Pasture condition rated 23 percent very poor, 26 percent poor, 32 percent fair. Stress on livestock was minimal during the week. Hay supplies were considered 16 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 9 percent surplus across Iowa with 91 percent rated in fair to good condition. 

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