Iowa farmers are close to finishing the soybean harvest this year and made gains combining corn, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today.
Above average temperatures and mostly dry weather allowed the harvest to push ahead, with five days suitable for field work, the agency said in a report looking at conditions through Sunday. “The agreeable weather last week allowed many farmers to make good harvest progress,” said Bill Northey, Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture.
Iowa’s soybean harvest was 81 percent complete, just two days behind last year and four days behind normal.
Thirty-six percent of the corn acres were harvested, six days behind 2013 and 16 days behind the five-year average.
The moisture content of corn at harvest was estimated at 19 percent, encouraging some farmers to harvest, but still limiting others who are waiting for corn to dry down in the field.
Iowa farmers also worked on fall tillage, manure and fertilizer application, corn stalk baling, and hauling grain.
Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 58 percent moderate to heavy, increasing 3 percentage points from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability was 90 percent adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was 86 percent adequate to surplus.
Topsoil moisture levels were 4 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 16 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated six percent short to very short, 81 percent adequate, and 13 percent surplus. Southwest and south central Iowa were the wettest with over one-third of their topsoil and subsoil in surplus condition.
Pasture condition rated 65 percent good to excellent, while hay and roughage supplies were estimated at 97 percent adequate to surplus, the report said. Livestock conditions were excellent, and a few cattle were turned out on fields with corn stalks.