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Iowa Crops • Weather Report

October 12, 2012
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

DES MOINES Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey t commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.

"Farmers a quickly wrapping up the 2012 harvest and moving on to fall tillage and other fieldwork," Northey said. "Harvest remains well ahead of the five-year average. Farmers are one month ahead of average with 76 percent of the corn harvested and two weeks ahead on soybeans with 80 percent harvested."

The report follows here:

Article Photos

Bill Northey
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture


Iowa experienced favorable weather during the first half of the week but temperatures took a sharp turn cooler at the end of the week. Corn harvest advanced 20 percentage points from last week, while soybean harvest advanced 26 percentage points according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Iowa Field Office. Northwest Iowa farmers, with 91 percent of their corn acreage harvested and 96 percent of their soybean harvested, continue to lead the way with row crop harvest in the State. Fall tillage is becoming more prevalent as harvest nears completion.

There were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture level declined to 67 percent very short, 29 percent short, 4 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture also declined slightly and is now rated 71 percent very short, 26 percent short, 3 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. Grain movement remains brisk, with 52 percent of the State seeing moderate to heavy grain movement from farm to elevator. As the harvest season advances, 99 percent of the State reports adequate or surplus off-farm storage capacity and 95 percent of the State reports adequate or surplus on-farm storage capacity.

Seventy-six percent of the corn crop has been harvested for grain or seed, one month ahead of normal. Last year at this time, less than one-quarter of Iowa's corn crop had been harvested. Ninety-eight percent of Iowa's soybean fields have dropped leaves, nearly a week ahead of normal. Eighty percent of the State's soybean crop has been harvested, two weeks ahead of normal. Soybeans harvested is 24 percentage points higher than last year at this time.

Only twenty-four of Iowa's pasture and range land is rated in fair or better condition. Pasture and range condition is rated at 52 percent very poor, 24 percent poor, 20 percent fair, 4 percent good, and 0 percent excellent. Hay supplies are considered short across 43 percent of Iowa with just over one-third of the hay supply considered in good condition. Livestock producers continue to move cattle to recently harvested fields as well as feeding hay as pasture conditions remain poor.


By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

The past reporting week began with warm and dry conditions. High temperatures were mostly in the 70s on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with a maximum of 82 degrees at Keosauqua, Little Sioux and Sioux City on Wednesday (3rd). Much cooler air dominated the state for the rest of the week. Saturday (6th) was the coldest day in most areas with highs only in the 40s. A hard freeze was recorded over most of Iowa over the weekend with Sibley reporting a low of 21 degrees on Friday (5th) morning, Battle Creek 12 degrees on Saturday (6th) morning and Spencer 13 degrees on Sunday (7th) morning. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 7.1 degrees below normal. Battle Creek's Saturday low temperature tied for the lowest temperature for so early in the season in Iowa (also 12 degrees at Humboldt on Oct. 6, 1935). The only rain event of the week came on Thursday and was confined to about the southeast one-half of Iowa. Keokuk Airport reported the most rain with 0.68 inches. The statewide average precipitation was 0.05 inches while normal for the week is 0.68 inches. This was the 20th week of the past 22 with below normal rainfall.




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