Corn harvest nearly finished, two weeks behind normal

Rain and recent snow melt across Iowa delayed harvest and other fieldwork progress as farmers were held to 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Nov. 24, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Propane shortages across the state remain an issue as farmers try to dry their corn due to high moisture content.

Topsoil moisture condition statewide was rated 1 percent short, 83 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 89 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture condition across the state was rated 2 percent short, 82 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus. Ratings in west central Iowa were 88 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus.

Eighty-six percent of the corn for grain crop has been harvested, 10 days behind last year and two weeks behind the 5-year average. Producers in the northwest, north central and southeast districts have harvested 90 percent or more of their expected crop, while harvest in the northeast and south central districts were below 80 percent complete. In west central Iowa the corn harvest was 87 percent complete. Moisture content of field corn being harvested for grain was at 19 percent.

Livestock producers have been feeding hay and continue to allow cattle to graze on corn stalks. The increase in temperatures this past week reduced stress on livestock.

Iowa preliminary weather summary provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – After six consecutive reporting periods of colder than normal conditions across the state, unseasonable warmth returned to Iowa. The statewide average temperature was 36.7 degrees, 2.4 degrees above normal with positive departures of up to six degrees in northwestern Iowa. Wetter than normal conditions were also reported across much of the state. Rainfall totals were around 0.60 inch more than average in north central Iowa. Southeastern Iowa observed precipitation deficits ranging from 0.20 inch to 0.40 inch.

A cold front continued to push across Iowa through Sunday afternoon, Nov. 17,  bringing light rain showers to the state. As the system cleared eastern Iowa, winds shifted to a northwesterly direction. Daytime highs ranged from the mid 30s north to the mid 40s south under cloudy skies. Rain totals at 7 am on Monday  were generally less than 0.25 inch with slightly higher totals in eastern Iowa; DeWitt (Scott County) reported 0.28 inch. Temperature departures were up to 20 degrees above normal with the statewide average high of 55 degrees, 12 degrees warmer than normal.

Overnight lows into Tuesday, NOv. 19, stayed in the 30s with isolated reports of frozen fog in eastern Iowa. Morning temperatures averaged 31 degrees across the state, six degrees warmer than normal. Light showers pushed out of eastern Iowa through the morning hours with partly sunny conditions across most of the state into the evening. High temperatures were well above average, reaching into the mid to upper 50s in southern Iowa. Overnight lows into Wednesday  remained in the 30s as cloud cover moved into the state. Skies gradually cleared through the early afternoon hours with gusty winds out of the southeast. Daytime highs were unseasonably warm, climbing into the mid 50s across northern Iowa and low 60s in southern Iowa.

Clouds began to increase into the evening hours ahead of a low pressure system that moved across the state from Wednesday night into Thursday  morning, Nov. 21. Rain totals were highest in northern Iowa with Northwood (Worth County) reporting an inch; all stations across the state reported measurable rainfall with the statewide average total at 0.45 inch. The system exited northeastern Iowa during the early afternoon hours with cloudy conditions and northerly winds persisting. High temperatures stayed in the 30s across much of Iowa with low 40s in the state’s southeastern corner.

Cloud cover gradually moved out as a high pressure system propagated into Iowa during the day on Friday. Daytime conditions were chilly under sunny skies with highs in the low to mid 30s and light, variable winds. Isolated snowflakes were reported across extreme southeastern Iowa overnight into Saturday, Nov. 23, as a fast moving disturbance moved through northern Missouri. Clear skies and warmer than average temperatures prevailed as daytime highs reached into mid to upper 40s with the average high of 45 degrees, four degrees warmer than normal. Overnight lows into Sunday dipped into the lower 30s with light winds.

Weekly precipitation totals ranged from 0.22 inch at Rathbun Dam (Appanoose County) to 1.25 inches in Algona (Kossuth County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.59 inch, while the normal is 0.44 inch. The week’s high temperature of 65 degrees was reported Nov. 20 in Clarinda (Page County), 20 degrees warmer than normal. The week’s low temperature of 12 degrees was reported on Nov. 23 in Holstein (Ida County) and Sibley (Osceola County), on average eight degrees cooler than normal. Soil temperatures as of Sunday ranged from the mid 30s north to low 40s south.

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