CROP REPORT: Harvest beginning for some farmers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

CROP REPORT: Harvest beginning for some farmers

DES MOINES (KWWL) -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.

"The weather across much of the state during the past week helped with crop drying and in some cases allowed farmers to start harvest," Northey said. "If the weather continues to cooperate the potential remains for a very early harvest this year."

Here is the full report:

Agricultural Summary: Following a summer of high temperatures and humidity, cooler weather has greeted Iowa the past few weeks. Last week, average highs were in the upper seventies, with average lows dropping into the low fifties. Along with cooler temperatures, Iowa experienced several breezy days that aided crop drying. Scattered precipitation fell throughout Iowa during the week, with the northwest corner of Iowa receiving around 2 inches. However, most of the state received less than an inch. Rainfall amounts were not enough to keep producers from getting in the field to harvest their 2010 crop. Farmers continued chopping silage and picking seed corn, while others harvested early planted corn and soybeans.

With acres being harvested, crop conditions remain mostly good. Corn is rapidly maturing and progress remained ahead of normal, with a majority of the acres now safe from frost. However, concerns of stalk condition and maturity variability within fields are being reported. Soybeans are also maturing quickly with the aid of recent weather conditions. As many of the soybean acres reach maturity, sudden death syndrome is becoming less of a concern for farmers. Alfalfa cutting is winding down for the year, with most of the acres already being harvested. Like alfalfa, pasture growth is beginning to slow.

There were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork last week compared to 5.0 days the previous week. All but Northwest Iowa, at 4.1 days suitable, reported 5.1 days or more with East Central Iowa reporting the highest number of days, at 6.1 days suitable. Topsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 82 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 15 percent surplus.

Field Crops Report: Nearly all corn acres have dented, 62 percent has reached maturity, and 3 percent has been harvested; all three are at least 8 days ahead of last year and the five-year average. Moisture content of all corn in the field is estimated at 27 percent, while moisture content of corn being harvested is estimated at 23 percent. Corn lodging is rated 79 percent none, 17 percent light, 4 percent moderate, and 0 percent heavy. Ear droppage is rated 84 percent none, 13 percent light, 3 percent moderate, and 0 percent heavy. Corn condition rated 4 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 20 percent fair, 45 percent good, and 23 percent excellent. Seventy-four percent of the soybean acres have turned color, ahead of last year's 59 percent and the five-year average of 68 percent. Leaves have begun to drop in 32 percent of the soybean acres, 4 days ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of the five-year average. Soybean condition stayed the same as last week and rated 3 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 21 percent fair, 47 percent good, and 22 percent excellent. Alfalfa third cutting increased 11 percentage points to 92 percent complete, ahead of the 80 percent completed last year and the five-year average of 85 percent. All hay condition rated 5 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 14 percent excellent.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 50 percent good, and 18 percent excellent. The mild temperatures have been good for newborn calves and overall livestock condition.

Online Producer: Jason Mortvedt

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