Harvest nearing completion

Limited precipitation during the week ending Nov. 12 allowed an average of 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork statewide, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Harvest has begun to wind down as many Iowa farmers were able to work in their fields throughout the week. Additional fieldwork activities this past week included baling corn stalks, tillage, applying fertilizers and manure, tiling, seeding CRP and hauling grain.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 3 percent very short, 10 percent short, 83 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa rated 1 percent very short, 9 percent short, 84 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 6 percent very short, 17 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa rated 1 percent very short, 8 percent short, 87 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.

Eighty-five percent of the corn for grain crop has been harvested, one week behind last year and the 5-year average. Moisture content of corn being harvested for grain averaged 17 percent. Only northwest and north central Iowa have 90 percent or more of their corn for grain crop harvested.

Ninety-seven percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, equal to last year but 5 days behind average.

Livestock conditions were reported as normal with no concerns. There were also reports of cattle grazing in recently harvested fields with little hay being fed.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship – It was an unseasonably cold and mostly dry week across Iowa.

Temperatures were well below normal throughout the week with some moderation finally arriving during the weekend. Daytime high temperatures were only in the low to mid-20s over parts of northern Iowa on both Thursday and Friday, Nov. 9-10, while only small portions of southeast Iowa and extreme western Iowa reached 50 degrees during the week.

Temperature extremes varied from highs of 54 degrees at Centerville, Iowa City and Washington on Sunday, Nov. 5, while Swea City recorded a morning low of 6 degrees Friday, Nov. 10. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 8.7 degrees below normal.

The only measurable precipitation for the week came Saturday night into Sunday morning, Nov. 11-12, over the southeast two-thirds of the state, including a short-lived dusting of snow over extreme eastern areas on Sunday morning.

Precipitation totals varied from none over much of the northwest one-third of Iowa to 0.65 inches just southwest of Iowa City. The statewide average precipitation was 0.14 inches while normal for the week is 0.50 inches.

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