Wet Weather Keeps Farmers From Harvesting - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wet Weather Keeps Farmers From Harvesting

DES MOINES (KWWL)

Iowa Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey, says Iowa's fall harvest made very little progress in the past week, because fields remain too wet.

Northey made the assessment in this week's Iowa Crop Report, released by the Iowa Department of Agriculture. The complete report follows.

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 wet weather kept farmers out of the fields again much of last week and as a result just a little progress was made on harvest.  This is now the slowest harvest since at least the 1960s," Northey said.  "It is unusual for both corn and bean harvest to be delayed so significantly, however, with dryer weather forecast for this week, hopefully farmers will be able to get into the fields and significant progress will be able to be made."

The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov.  The report follows here:

WEATHER KEEPS FARMERS FRUSTRATED

The last week of October brought Iowa yet another weather system dumping more rain on already saturated fields. Although the week ended with dry weather, moisture levels remained too high for producers to harvest. With grain driers running nonstop across the state, some elevators are rejecting wet soybeans and poor quality corn. Post-harvest field work may be pushed back into the spring. With few fields available to cattle for post-harvest gleaning and very little hay stubble produced, delays are now spreading across the entire agriculture community.

There were 2.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared to the five-year average of 5.6 days. Topsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 0 percent short, 38 percent adequate, and 61 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 1 percent short, 55 percent adequate, and 43 percent surplus. Grain movement was reported at 43 percent none, 37 percent light, 16 percent moderate, and 4 percent heavy. Producers are now reporting fall fertilizer applications with 5 percent of cropland fertilized. On-farm storage availability rated 12 percent short, 81 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus, while off-farm storage availability rated 7 percent short, 85 percent adequate, and 8 percent surplus.

Field Crops Report: Corn harvested for grain reached 18 percent, 22 percentage points behind last year and 22 days behind the five-year average. Moisture content of all corn in the field is estimated at 26 percent, 7 percentage points higher than the five-year average. Moisture content of corn being harvested is estimated at 23 percent, 6 percentage points higher than the five-year average. Corn lodging is rated 66 percent none, 25 percent light, 8 percent moderate, and 1 percent heavy. Ear droppage is rated 75 percent none, 20 percent light, 4 percent moderate, and 1 percent heavy. Corn condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 20 percent excellent.

Soybeans harvested reached 54 percent, 38 percentage points behind last year and 26 days behind the five-year average. Soybean lodging is rated 74 percent none, 20 percent light, 5 percent moderate, and 1 percent heavy. Soybeans shattering is rated 73 percent none, 20 percent light, 6 percent moderate, and 1 percent heavy. Soybean condition is rated 3 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 21 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 16 percent excellent.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 3 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 11 percent excellent. With harvest lagging far behind normal, use of stubble fields was reported 68 percent none, 26 percent limited, and 6 percent moderate. Hay and roughage availability is currently rated 8 percent short, 81 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus.

Online Reporter:  Ron Steele

rsteele@kwwl.com

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