Harvest and fieldwork activities were dampened due to rain during the week ending Nov. 1, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Farmers used the 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork to harvest corn for grain, harvest soybeans, work on fall tillage, install and repair tile and terraces, and apply dry fertilizer. Other activities included baling corn stalks, as well as manure hauling and spreading.
Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 1 percent very short, 13 percent short, 79 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus. Topsoil ratings in west central Iowa were 4 percent short, 86 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.
Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 2 percent very short, 12 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 87 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus.
Eighty-five percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, 10 days ahead of last year, and two days ahead of the 5-year average.
Ninety-six percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, eight days ahead of last year, but equal to normal. Although farmers in southwest and south central Iowa were able to harvest 10 percent of their soybean crop during the week, those were the only areas of the state where more than 10 percent of the soybean crop remains to be harvested.
Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 57 percent moderate to heavy. Off-farm grain storage availability was rated 78 percent adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was rated 69 percent adequate to surplus.
Hay and roughage supplies were rated 97 percent adequate to surplus. Livestock conditions were described as excellent, with reports of cattle being turned out to graze corn stalks.
Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – Iowa recorded its wettest week in six weeks. Dry weather prevailed on Monday, Oct. 26, with rain falling statewide Tuesday into Wednesday morning, Oct. 27-28, with light precipitation lingering into Thursday morning over the northeast. Heaviest precipitation fell over eastern Iowa where amounts were mostly in the one to two inch range.
The seasonâ€™s first snow flurries were reported over northern Iowa, but with little if any accumulation, on Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning. There was a break in the precipitation on Thursday with another round of statewide rain from Friday afternoon into Saturday morning, Oct. 30-31. Rain totals with this second event averaged around one-third of an inch across the state.
Weekly precipitation totals varied from 0.21 inches at Lester (Lyon County) to 2.86 inches at Marion. The statewide average precipitation was 1.15 inches, or a little more than double the weekly normal of 0.55 inches.
Meanwhile, temperatures were slightly above normal on Monday and Tuesday with a relatively cool period from Wednesday through Saturday morning. Much warmer weather returned on Sunday, Nov. 1.
Temperature extremes varied from a Friday morning low of 23 degrees at Battle Creek to a Sunday (Nov. 1) afternoon high of 77 degrees at Shenandoah and Sidney.
Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from about two degrees cooler than usual over the far southeast to three degrees above normal over the west. The statewide average temperature was 1.1 degrees above normal.
Soil temperatures as of Sunday were averaging in the upper 40s over the northwest one-half of Iowa to the lower 50s across the southeast. Soil temperatures are expected to rise with unseasonably warm weather prevailing through Wednesday and into Thursday of the coming week.