Foggy, damp fields continue to delay harvest
Farmers waiting for crops to dry, focusing on corn crop
George C. Ford
Fieldwork was slowed by damp, foggy conditions, but Iowa farmers were able to make some harvest progress during the week that ended on Sunday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its weekly crop harvest report, said many farmers reported waiting for crops to dry down in the field before harvesting and concentrating on corn rather than soybeans.
Ninety-seven percent of the corn crop was mature or beyond, three days behind last year, but a day ahead of the five-year average. Thirty-three percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, four days behind last year and almost one week behind average.
Moisture content of field corn being harvested was at 18 percent. Corn condition was rated 82 percent good to excellent.
Ninety-six percent of soybeans were dropping leaves or beyond, equal to the five-year average. Sixty-two percent of soybeans have been harvested, six days behind last year’s pace.
Topsoil moisture levels were rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 82 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus.
“Iowa’s corn and soybean harvest is moving forward, but remains fairly slow due to the damp weather and periodic rain,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said in a news release. “Several days of dry weather would be very helpful and allow farmers to make significant progress on both corn and soybean harvest.”
A hard freeze effectively ended the growing season over most of northwest Iowa with temperatures falling as low as 24 degrees in Mapleton. The far southeast corner of the state, plus areas near the Mississippi River and scattered upland and urban locations in the southern one-third of Iowa, escaped the freeze.
A few locations in far northeast Iowa also recorded a freeze on Friday morning.