Rainfall that reduced the number of days Iowa farmers could get into their fields briefly delayed the state’s corn and soybean harvest during the week that ended on Sunday.
There were four and a half days suitable for fieldwork statewide. Even without a whole week to operate in fields, soybean harvest in northwest and north central Iowa were virtually complete, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Ninety-three percent of Iowa’s corn crop has been harvested for grain or seed, a month ahead of normal. Last year at this time, only 64 percent of the state’s corn crop had been harvested.
Ninety-six percent of Iowa’s soybean crop has been moved from the field to storage, almost three weeks ahead of normal.
“Although many farmers are finished, we have over $1 billion dollars of crops still to be harvested,” noted Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “We are hopeful the rest of the crops will come out in the same good condition as those already harvested.”
As the harvest season nears completion, 98 percent of Iowa reported adequate or surplus off-farm storage capacity and 96 percent of the state reported adequate or surplus on-farm storage capacity.
Corn and soybean producers who have completed their harvest have been tilling fields and applying manure during the week as they prepare for their next crop in the spring.
Widespread rain during the week improved topsoil moisture levels to 31 percent very short, 38 percent short, 29 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture improved and is now rated 60 percent very short, 34 percent short, 6 percent adequate, and none surplus.
Only 27 percent of Iowa’s pasture and range land is rated in fair or better condition, a five percentage point increase from last week. Pasture and range condition is rated at 47 percent very poor, 26 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 5 percent good, and zero percent excellent.
Hay supplies are considered short across 42 percent of Iowa, with 39 percent of the hay supply considered in good condition.
Good quality hay continues to sell for $200 per ton or higher at auctions in northeast Iowa. Straw is also being offered for sale from sellers as far north as Winnipeg, Manitoba.