Des Moines, Iowa — October 11, 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.
“The dry weather last week helped crops continue to dry down and allowed nearly half of the state’s soybeans to be harvested. Unfortunately, fire does remain a risk as the dry weather persists, so farmers should continue to take extra care while working in their fields,” Northey said. “Harvest remains slightly ahead of the five-year average and will likely continue to advance rapidly if conditions remain dry.”
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report follows here:
Dry and windy weather accelerated crop dry down and provided the opportunity to harvest nearly half of Iowa’s soybean acres. Unfortunately, reports of soybeans shattering and field fires increased. The lack of moisture has also delayed development of fall seeded crops.
There were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 32 percent very short, 41 percent short, 27 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 24 percent very short, 41 percent short, 34 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. With nearly the full week suitable for fieldwork, over half of the State is now seeing moderate to heavy grain movement from farm to elevator. At this point in the harvest season, only 3 percent of the State reports being short off-farm storage capacity and 7 percent of the State reports a shortage of on-farm storage capacity.
Ninety-seven percent of the corn crop is now mature, behind last year’s 99 percent but ahead of the normal 91 percent. Twenty-seven percent of the corn crop has been harvested for grain or seed, 3 days behind 2010 but 5 days ahead of the five-year average. The moisture content of the corn left to harvest throughout the State fell 4 percent from previous week to an average of 20 percent, with the corn currently being harvested running 18 percent moisture content. Corn lodging remains a greater problem than normal, with 21 percent of Iowa’s corn crop experiencing moderate to heavy lodging compared to 10 percent on average. Ten percent of the corn crop is experiencing moderate to heavy ear droppage compared to 5 percent normally. Corn condition stands at 5 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 47 percent good, and 12 percent excellent.