Growing season winding down, harvest nearly complete

USDA, NASSHarvest activities and fall tillage were nearing completion, while some tiling, terracing, and fertilizer applications continued during the week ending Nov. 15, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork, down nearly a full day from the previous week due to a storm system that moved through Iowa on Wednesday, bringing precipitation and high winds. Activities for the week included harvesting corn for grain, hauling and spreading manure, and anhydrous application.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 8 percent short, 85 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 4 percent short, 85 percent adequate and 11 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, 3 percent short, 88 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus.

Ninety-six percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, eight days ahead of last year, but equal to the 5-year average.

Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 43 percent moderate to heavy, down 8 percentage points from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability was rated 77 percent adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was rated 67 percent adequate to surplus.

Hay and roughage supplies were rated 97 percent adequate to surplus. Livestock conditions were described as good, with reports of little stress on livestock with the week’s above normal temperatures.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist Harry Hillaker, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – The big weather news for the past reporting week was the storm system that moved through Iowa on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. Thunderstorms resulted in severe winds being reported from 41 counties, mostly over the southern two-thirds of Iowa. At least 13 tornadoes were confirmed Wednesday afternoon and evening across the southern one-third of Iowa.

Additionally, a general area of very strong winds followed the thunderstorms Wednesday night into Thursday morning with gusts at or above 50 mph across much of the state. This mid-week storm system brought the only rain for the week with greatest rain amounts coming over northwest and west central Iowa, where one to two inch amounts were common.

Also, the first accumulating snow of the season fell Wednesday night over parts of west central and southwest Iowa, but was very short-lived with surface temperatures barely falling to the freezing point.

Weekly rain totals varied from 0.05 inches at Hamburg in Fremont County to 2.91 inches at Holly Springs in Woodbury County. The statewide average precipitation was 0.84 inches while normal for the week is 0.49 inches.

Meanwhile temperatures were above normal all week across western Iowa while parts of eastern Iowa dipped slightly below normal on Monday, Nov. 9, Tuesday, Nov. 10 and Friday Nov. 13. Temperature extremes varied from a Tuesday morning low of 20 degrees at Elkader to highs of 69 degrees at Clarinda, Keosauqua and Ottumwa on Saturday, Nov. 14.

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from three degrees above normal over far southeast Iowa to 10 degrees above normal over the northwest corner with a statewide average of 6.1 degrees above normal. Soil temperatures as of Sunday, Nov. 15, were averaging in the mid-40s northwest to upper 40s southeast.

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