Harvest nearing completion

Iowa farmers had another good week for harvesting with 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Nov. 4, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting corn and soybeans, baling stalks, anhydrous and manure application, fall tillage, tile repair, and planting cover crops.

Topsoil moisture levels across Iowa rated 1 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 28 percent surplus. In west central Iowa levels rated 84 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 2 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 27 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 77 percent adequate and 23 percent surplus.

Seventy-two percent of the state’s corn for grain crop has been harvested, three days ahead of last year but one day behind the five-year average. Farmers in central Iowa have harvested 80 percent of their corn for grain while farmers in the southwest have 45 percent of their corn for grain remaining to be harvested. Moisture content of field corn being harvested averaged 17 percent.

Soybean harvest was 88 percent complete, two days behind last year and six days behind the average.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Dr Justin Glisan, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – Much of Iowa had slightly warmer than average temperatures from the end of October into early November; temperatures were around two degrees warmer than normal.

The reporting period saw above average rainfall mainly in eastern Iowa with many locations between 0.40-0.80 inches more than normal. Light rain showers moved across eastern Iowa on Monday, Oct. 29, with only a handful of stations reporting measurable rainfall; Cedar Rapids (Linn County) reported 0.11 inches. Widespread and heavier rain fell on Tuesday as a cold front swept across Iowa. Afternoon thunderstorms quickly formed and moved into Illinois. Maquoketa (Jackson County) observed 1.67 inches, 1.58 inches more than normal. Keokuk (Lee County) reported 0.50 inches as the front slowly moved southeast.

Wednesday, Oct. 31, was a quiet day with high pressure controlling the pattern. Conditions were partly to mostly sunny with highs in the upper 50s. A low pressure system gradually moved into northwest Iowa late Thursday into Friday, bringing rain showers to portions of western Iowa. Showers redeveloped during late afternoon in southeastern Iowa.

A second low pressure system slowly moved through the region Saturday into Sunday, Nov. 3-4, bringing widespread, measurable rainfall to much of Iowa. Total accumulations over this period ranged from a few tenths of an inch to well over an inch; Anamosa (Jones County) reported 1.48 inches. Cloud cover kept daytime highs cooler than normal, ranging from the upper 40s to lower 50s and overnight lows warmer than average.

Bloomfield (Davis County) reported the week’s high of 71 degrees on Oct. 29, 12 degrees warmer than average. The week’s coldest overnight low of 25 degrees was recorded in multiple counties in northwestern Iowa on Nov.1, on average six degrees cooler than normal.

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