Rain slows harvest again
Iowa again received cloudy, wet weather delaying corn and soybean harvest for a second consecutive week. Although some areas reported frost, temperatures did not stay low long enough to cause considerable crop damage.
The rain also delayed crop maturity keeping corn and soybeans behind five-year averages for most crop stages. Reporters are concerned about fungal disease and the effect of those diseases on yields.
Although wet, corn and soybeans are still rated in good-to-excellent condition. Cattle in feedlots are showing signs of stress as muddy pens become bothersome.
There were 3.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared to the five-year average of 5.4 days. Topsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 5 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 21 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 2 percent very short, 8 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 9 percent surplus.
Field crops report
Corn reported to be at or beyond the dent stage reached 98 percent, 2 percentage points ahead of last year, but four days behind the five-year average. Corn reported mature, or safe from frost, reached 71 percent, 8 percentage points ahead of last year, but eight days behind the five-year average.
Corn harvested for grain has begun with 3 percent of the crop reported as harvested, equal to last year, but 13 days behind the five-year average. Moisture content of all corn in the field is estimated at 29 percent, 4 percentage points higher than the five-year average.
Moisture content of corn being harvested is estimated at 25 percent, 4 percentage points higher than the five-year average. Corn lodging is rated 73 percent none, 22 percent light, 4 percent moderate and 1 percent heavy.
Ear droppage is rated 85 percent none, 13 percent light, 1 percent moderate and 1 percent heavy. The overall condition of Iowa’s corn was rated 3 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 17 percent fair, 51 percent good and 24 percent excellent.
Soybean leaves turning color reached 98 percent, 2 percentage points ahead of last year, but 2 days behind the five-year average. Soybeans dropping leaves reached 90 percent, 8 percentage points ahead of last year, but three days behind the five-year average.
Soybeans harvested reached 20 percent, 13 percentage points behind last year and seven days behind the five-year average. Soybean lodging is rated at 81 percent none, 15 percent light, 3 percent moderate and 1 percent heavy.
Soybeans shattering is rated 83 percent none, 13 percent light, 3 percent moderate, and 1 percent heavy. The overall condition of Iowa soybeans is rated 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 21 percent excellent.
Alfalfa third cutting has reached 94 percent complete, 1 percentage point behind last year and 5 percentage points behind the five-year average.
Pasture, range report
Pasture and range condition rated 2 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 46 percent good and 12 percent excellent.
Some cases of pink eye have been reported in areas where moisture and fly levels were elevated.
It was a wet and very cool week across Iowa. The first frost of the season was recorded across portions of western Iowa on the mornings of Sept. 29 and Sept. 30, with a hard freeze recorded over portions of west central and southwest Iowa on Sunday morning. Frost was also reported over parts of eastern Iowa on Monday morning.
Temperature extremes for the week ranged from a Sept 30 afternoon high of 75 degrees at Sioux City to Sunday morning lows of 28 degrees at Atlantic, Clarinda and Onawa.
Portions of northeastern Iowa never reached 60 degrees during the past week. Statewide temperatures averaged 6.4 degrees below normal. The beginning of the reporting week was dry, but showers and thunderstorms moved into western Iowa late Wednesday and brought rain statewide on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Another storm system moved over northwestern Iowa Monday morning. Weekly rain totals exceeded an inch over nearly all of the northeastern three-fourths of the state, while only a few locations across the southwest saw less than normal rainfall.
Weekly rain totals varied from 0.16 inches at Clarinda to 2.79 inches near Spirit Lake.
The statewide average precipitation was 1.36 inches or a little more than twice the weekly normal of 0.65 inches.
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