Harvest nearly complete, and ahead of normal

USDA, NASSHarvest activities wound down, while fall tillage, tiling, and fertilizer applications continued during the week ending Nov. 8, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Farmers used the 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork to harvest corn for grain, harvest soybeans, and haul and spread manure. Reports of anhydrous application were received, although some farmers are waiting for cooler weather before applying.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 11 percent short, 83 percent adequate, and 6 percent surplus. Topsoil moisture levels in west central Iowa were rated 5 percent short, 87 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 2 percent very short, 13 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 88 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.

Ninety-three percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, nine days ahead of last year and two days ahead of the 5-year average. There were reports of corn piles on the ground at some ethanol plants and local elevators. Ninety-eight percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, one week ahead of last year.

Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 51 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 good, with reports of calves being weaned and beef cattle gleaning harvested corn fields.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship – Unseasonably warm weather prevailed until Thursday, Nov. 5, with temperatures returning to near normal for the remainder of the reporting week. Showers and thunderstorms quickly moved across the southeast one-half of Iowa with the passage of the cold front on Thursday. No rain of consequence fell across the northwest one-half of the state during the week while the Thursday thunderstorms brought a maximum reported rain total of 1.13 inches to the Dubuque airport.

The statewide average precipitation total was 0.18 inch, or about one-third of the weekly normal of 0.53 inches.

Daytime temperatures reached into the 70s somewhere in Iowa each day from Monday through Thursday, Nov. 2-6. Des Moines, Glenwood and Shenandoah reported the week’s highest temperatures with 79 degree readings on Monday. On the other extreme, Atlantic and Bedford recorded lows of 24 degrees on Saturday morning, Nov. 7, while Elkader reported 23 degrees on Sunday morning, Nov. 8.

Temperatures for the week as a whole ranged from about five degrees below normal over the southeast corner of Iowa to 11 degrees above normal over the northwest with a statewide average of 8.9 degrees above normal. This was the warmest start to November since 2008. Soil temperatures as of Sunday, Nov. 8, were averaging in the mid to upper 40s statewide.

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