Rain puts soybean harvest 11 days behind average year

Rain and early snow showers limited Iowa farmers to just 0.8 day suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Oct. 14, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included moving grain, monitoring field conditions and harvesting corn when weather permitted.

Topsoil moisture levels across the state rated 40 percent adequate and 60 percent surplus. Levels in west central Iowa rated 56 percent adequate and 44 percent surplus.Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 1 percent very short, 2 percent short, 49 percent adequate and 48 percent surplus. In west central Iowa levels were 70 percent adequate and 30 percent surplus.

Ninety-seven percent of the corn crop was mature, five days ahead of the five-year average. Seventeen percent of the state’s corn for grain crop has been harvested, four days ahead of last year but four days behind average. Across the state farmers were only able to harvest 2 percent of their corn for grain crop during the week. Farmers in southeast Iowa continue to lead the way with 41 percent of their corn for grain harvested. Moisture content of field corn being harvested was at 20 percent. Corn condition rated 69 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-seven percent of the soybean crop was dropping leaves, five days ahead of average. Nineteen percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, 11 days behind the average. This is the smallest percentage of the soybean crop harvested by Oct. 14 since records began. Soybean condition rated 65 percent good to excellent.

Pasture conditions rated 55 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions remain challenging after another week with significant precipitation left feedlots extremely muddy.
Iowa preliminary weather summary by Dr. Justin Glisan, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – October’s second week brought up to four inches of above average precipitation to Iowa. Average temperatures were predominately cooler than expected; northwestern Iowa was 6 to 10 degrees below normal. Parts of western Iowa were near normal to warmer than average.

The beginning of the reporting period was active with widespread showers and thunderstorms across Iowa on Monday, Oct. 8, as low pressure moved across the state. Knoxville (Marion County) reported a 24-hour accumulation of 4.25 inches. More than 40 stations reported rainfall more than one inch. A strong cold front moved through Iowa on Tuesday, Oct. 9, with locally heavy rain. Average highs ranged from the upper 40s in the northwest to the upper 70s in the southeast. Over the two day period, severe thunderstorms produced 10 confirmed tornadoes, the strongest of which occurred Tuesday evening near Creston (Union County) with estimated winds up to 120 mph, causing structural damage.

The cold front moved out of eastern Iowa early Wednesday, leaving behind cloudy and unseasonably cool temperatures. Average highs varied from the 50s in the west and 60s to lower 70s ahead of the cold front. Dubuque (Dubuque County) reported 0.99 inches of rain.

Light rain showers moved in on Friday, Oct.12. Some locations in central Iowa reported snowflakes. Saturday was relatively dry with spotty showers late in the day in northwest Iowa.

Sunday saw a mix of rain and snow with light accumulations on grass and elevated surfaces, especially in north central Iowa. Weekend temperatures were below normal with highs in the upper 40s and lower 50s.

Davenport (Scott County) observed the week’s high of 84 degrees on Monday, 18 degrees warmer than normal. The week’s lowest temperature of 24 degrees was reported in Sanborn and Sheldon (O’Brien County) on Oct.14, an average of 12 degrees cooler normal.

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