2016 growing season winding down with warm, dry conditions

USDA, NASSMinimal precipitation and warm temperatures allowed farmers to make progress towards harvest completion during the week ending Nov. 13, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included harvesting, baling corn stalks, tiling, terracing, hauling and spreading manure, and anhydrous application.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 2 percent very short, 10 percent short, 83 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa rated 3 percent very short, 12 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 2 percent very short, 6 percent short, 82 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa rated 7 percent short, 86 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.

Ninety-four percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, equal to the 5-year average. This was the first time during the 2016 corn for grain harvest that progress was not behind average. Moisture content of all corn for grain being harvested in Iowa was unchanged from last week at 16 percent.

While harvest is winding down in much of the state, southwest and south central Iowa still have more than 10 percent of the corn crop and almost 10 percent of the soybean crop remaining to be harvested.

Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 55 percent moderate to heavy, down 7 percentage points from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability was rated 65 percent adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was rated 59 percent adequate to surplus.

Livestock conditions were described as ideal with the week’s above normal temperatures and drier conditions.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship –  It was a very dry week across Iowa. The only precipitation fell between Monday morning and Tuesday morning, Nov. 7-8. Measurable rain amounts were largely confined to the western and eastern borders of the state. Only Fort Madison (0.10 inches) and Keokuk (0.25 inches) reported at least one-tenth of an inch of rain. The statewide average precipitation was a trace while normal for the week is 0.49 inches.

Temperatures averaged above normal every day excepting over eastern Iowa on Saturday, Nov. 12. There was a freeze over most of Iowa on Monday with lowest temperatures of 24 degrees reported at Audubon, Little Sioux, Mapleton and Stanley. Lower temperatures were recorded on Saturday morning with readings down to 20 degrees at Audubon and Little Sioux. Only Beaconsfield (Ringgold County) and Keokuk have yet to report a freeze (32 degrees) thus far this season.

On the other extreme, Little Sioux and Shenandoah recorded the week’s highest temperatures with 73 degree readings on Thursday, Nov. 10.

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from 3 degrees above normal at Burlington to 9 degrees above normal at Spencer with a statewide average of 6.7 degrees above normal.

Soil temperatures at the four inch depth were averaging in the mid-40s north to upper 40s south as of Sunday, Nov. 13. Soil temperatures may edge back up to around 50 degrees this week prior to the arrival of much colder air on Friday.


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