Iowa farmers harvesting corn, some soybeans ahead of normal

Hay auctions in Dyersville and Fort Atkinson were affected by last week's rainfall

George Ford
Published: September 10 2012 | 4:28 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 12:13 am in
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Ten percent of Iowa's corn has been harvested for grain or seed, and some soybean farmers have begun to harvest fields planted early in the growing season.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service on Monday reported many farmers concentrating on cornfields with weaker stalks and those damaged by wind. There also are reports of some farmers being able to get a fourth and fifth cutting of alfalfa hay.

Ninety-seven percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage, ahead of last year’s 91 percent and the five-year average of 79 percent. Seventy-two percent of the corn crop is mature, well ahead of last year’s 28 percent and the five-year average of 25 percent.

Corn condition improved slightly and is now rated at 22 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 15 percent good, and 1 percent excellent.

Seventy-seven percent of the soybean crop is turning color, a jump of 26 percentage points from last week. Twenty-six percent of Iowa’s soybean fields are dropping leaves, five days ahead of last year.

The soybean crop condition is reported at 13 percent very poor, 24 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 23 percent good, and 1 percent excellent.

There were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork in Iowa during the week that ended on Sunday. Topsoil moisture level is rated at 48 percent very short, 36 percent short, 16 percent adequate and zero percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture improved slightly and is rated at 63 percent very short, 30 percent short, 7 percent adequate and zero  percent surplus.

Twenty-three percent of Iowa’s pasture and range land is rated in fair or better condition. Pasture and range condition improved slightly to 49 percent very poor, 28 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 4 percent good and zero percent excellent.

Livestock conditions were excellent last week. Due to poor pasture conditions, some farmers are supplementing their cattle feed with grain and hay.

The price of good quality hay has moderated in the last couple of weeks as more farmers have begun to chop corn for silage. Hay auctions in Dyersville and Fort Atkinson were affected by last week's rainfall in northeast Iowa and the Labor Day holiday.

At Dyersville Sales, 472 tons of hay was sold at auction on Wednesday. The top price was $245 per ton for big square bales of fourth crop alfalfa hay and orchard mixed.

Round bales topped out at $200 per ton and overall demand was rated good.

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