Cool, rainy days last week slowed Iowa farmers trying to get into their fields to finish harvesting this year’s corn and soybean crops.
There were not quite four days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week, according to the Iowa Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. A few farmers are waiting for fields to dry out enough so they can harvest their remaining acres.
Ninety-five percent of the corn crop has been harvested, a month ahead of normal. Last year at this time, 82 percent of Iowa’s corn crop had been harvested.
Ninety-seven percent of the Iowa’s soybean crop has been harvested, two weeks ahead of normal.
As the harvest nears completion, 99 percent of the state reported adequate or surplus off-farm storage capacity and 97 percent reported adequate or surplus on-farm storage capacity.
Grain movement continues to slow, with 24 percent of the state seeing moderate to heavy grain movement from farm to elevator.
Only 26 percent of Iowa’s pasture and range land is rated in fair or better condition. Pasture and range condition is rated at 47 percent very poor, 27 percent poor, 20 percent fair, 6 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. The Fort Atkinson Hay Auction reported that more loads of northern wheat straw showed up for last week’s sale and sold well.
First crop small square bales of straw sold for as much as $300 a ton at Fort Atkinson. The top price for hay sold at Dyersville Sales was $290 a ton for good large round bales.
Some livestock producers are starting to add straw to their rations instead of feeding high priced hay.