Des Moines, Iowa — September 19, 2011
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
“Harvest is just starting to really get underway as farmers wait for the crop to dry down and focus on harvesting fields with wind or hail damaged,” Northey said. “The forecast calls for sunshine this week, which will help the crop dry and harvest will likely start in earnest as result.”
Parts of Iowa received a hard freeze this week with frost reported over most of the State. Corn harvest is advancing with many farmers concentrating on getting wind- and hail-damaged corn out first. Soybean harvest is at least a week away for most farmers although scattered fields have already been harvested.
There were 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Southwest Iowa was the only area with less than 5.0 days suitable at just 4.7 days suitable. Topsoil moisture levels rated 13 percent very short, 32 percent short, 51 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 12 percent very short, 36 percent short, 51 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.
Nearly all the corn crop has advanced to at least the dent stage. Sixty percent of the corn crop is now mature, nearly 1 week behind last year but 4 days ahead of normal. Corn harvest for grain or seed is underway. Corn moisture content for the State stands at 29 percent, with the corn currently being harvested running 24 percent moisture content. Corn lodging is heavier than last year at this time thanks to several widespread wind events during August. Ear droppage is also a larger problem than last year, but only 6 percent of the crop is experiencing moderate to heavy ear droppage. Corn condition stands at 6 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 45 percent good, and 10 percent excellent. Just over three-quarters of the soybean crop has turned color, trailing last year’s 87 percent and the five-year average 84 percent. One-quarter of Iowa’s soybean fields are dropping leaves, remaining one week behind last year and normal. Soybean condition stands at 4 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 48 percent good and 14 percent excellent. Third cutting alfalfa hay harvest advanced to 94 percent complete, slightly behind last year’s 95 percent but ahead of the normal 90 percent. The condition of the hay crop is reported at 7 percent very poor, 16 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 36 percent good, and 7 percent excellent.