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Soft, muddy fields delaying Iowa harvest

Moisture content of corn averaging about 20 percent

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Rainfall and soft, muddy fields kept many Iowa farmers out of their fields in the week that ended on Sunday, delaying the corn and soybean harvest.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly report shows 19 percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, three days behind last year and a week behind average. Ninety-four percent of the corn crop was mature or beyond, equal to last year’s pace, but three days ahead of the five-year average.

Moisture content of field corn being harvested was at 20 percent. Corn condition was rated 81 percent good to excellent.

Forty-three percent of the state’s soybean crop has been harvested, three days behind last year’s pace. Soybean condition was rated 81 percent good to excellent.

Farmers in east central Iowa have harvested 29 percent of their corn crop and 47 percent of their soybeans.

Topsoil moisture levels were rated 1 percent very short, 3 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 1 percent very short, 3 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus.

Pasture condition was rated 62 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were described as good despite some flooded low-lying pastures and muddy feedlots.

Light rain fell over Eastern Iowa on the morning of Oct. 5, with additional rain over the southeast one-third of the state that night into Thursday, Oct. 6. Rain fell nearly statewide between Thursday afternoon, Oct. 6, and Friday morning, Oct. 7, with a few rain totals over an inch across east central and southeast Iowa.

Rain totals for the week varied from only a trace at Manchester to 5.66 inches at Keokuk.

Release of the weekly USDA crop harvest report was delayed until Tuesday due to the Columbus Day holiday on Monday.

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