Corn harvest two weeks behind average

Rainfall during the week slowed down harvest allowing Iowa farmers 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending Oct. 1, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Although there were wet field conditions in parts of the state, activities for the week included harvesting corn for grain and soybeans, seeding cover crops, and finishing the last cutting of hay.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 17 percent very short, 26 percent short, 56 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa rated 1 percent very short, 12 percent short 80 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 20 percent very short, 32 percent short, 47 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. In west central Iowa subsoil moisture levels rated 5 percent very short, 29 percent short, 62 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.

Ninety-seven percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage or beyond, five days behind the 5-year average. Seventy-three percent of corn had reached maturity, six days behind last year and three days behind average. Six percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, nearly two weeks behind average. Moisture content of field corn being harvested was at 23 percent. Corn condition improved slightly to 60 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-seven percent of soybeans were turning color or beyond, three days ahead of last year and four days ahead of average. Eighty-four percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, four days ahead of average. Sixteen percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, one day behind last year and three days behind average. Soybean condition also improved slightly with 61 percent good to excellent.
Pasture condition improved slightly to 22 percent good to excellent. Rain this past week prompted pastures to regrow and green up. No livestock comments were received.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hilllaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship –

The past week began with very warm and humid weather on Sunday, Sept. 24, with afternoon temperatures in the mid-80s to lower 90s statewide.
A strong cold front slowly moved into the state on Monday with highs reaching only the upper 50s in the far northwest while lower 90s persisted over the east. Parts of eastern Iowa were in the low 80s on Tuesday while northwestern Iowa saw highs in the mid-60s. The remainder of the week brought seasonal to slightly warmer than normal weather.

Temperature extremes for the week varied from highs of 93 degrees at Iowa City on Sunday and Monday while Cresco recorded a low of 35 degrees on Saturday morning, Sept. 30. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 5.4 degrees above normal.
Showers and thunderstorms slowly spread eastward across the state from Sunday afternoon into Tuesday morning. Heaviest rains were across the northwest one-half of the state where one- to two-inch amounts were common. Rain over the east central and southeast Iowa was mostly under one-half inch with some areas, such as Dubuque, Iowa City, Davenport and Mount Pleasant seeing no rain at all. Some light to moderate rain fell over far northwestern Iowa late Saturday into Sunday morning, Oct. 1. Otherwise dry weather prevailed statewide from Tuesday afternoon through Saturday.

Mondamin in Harrison County reported the most rain for the week with 4.16 inches. The statewide average rainfall was 0.90 inches while normal for the week is 0.72 inches.
Record low September rain totals were recorded at Anamosa (0.36 inches) and Dubuque Lock & Dam (0.23). Even lower September monthly totals (as low as 0.05 inches) were recorded in the Burlington area but ranked behind the trace amounts reported in 1979 in that corner of the state.

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