Recent rainfall slowed fieldwork but Iowa farmers still have harvested nearly one-third of corn for grain and more than half of soybeans, according to the latest Iowa crop report released Tuesday.
“October temperatures continue to be unseasonably warm, which have been beneficial for widespread dry-down in the fields,” Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig said in a statement. Although the rain has delayed fieldwork in portions of the state, “it is helpful in replenishing some subsoil moisture.”
Farmers had nearly five-and-a-half days that were suitable for harvesting soybeans and corn, fall tillage and applying fertilizer during the week ending Oct. 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported.
Ninety-five percent of the corn crop has reached maturity, eight days ahead of the five-year average. Close to one-third of corn for grain has been harvested — also eight days ahead of normal. Iowa’s corn condition rated 62% good to excellent.
Soybeans dropping leaves or beyond reached 96%, one week ahead of normal. More than half of Iowa’s soybean crop has been harvested at 56%, nine days ahead of the five-year average. Soybean condition was rated 63% good to excellent.
Warmer-than-average conditions continued across Iowa over the reporting period, with positive departures of up to 14 degrees in the state’s northeastern corner, according to Justin Glisan, the state climatologist. The statewide average temperature was 65.2 degrees, 11.7 degrees above normal.
Clarinda (Page County), Little Sioux (Harrison County) and Shenandoah (border of Page and Fremont counties) saw the week’s high of 86 degrees on Oct. 8, on average 17 degrees above normal. Guthrie Center (Guthrie County) reported the week’s low of 41 on Oct. 4, 2 degrees below normal.
Precipitation behavior flipped from last week as much of Eastern Iowa received measurable rainfall while Western Iowa reported dry conditions.
Weekly rain totals ranged from no accumulation across much of western Iowa to 4.86 inches in Waucoma in Fayette County. The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.26 inches, while the normal is 0.66 inches.
Naig said the final weather outlook for October shows the possibility of warmer and wetter conditions with minimal chances of an early frost.
Soil moisture and shallow groundwater levels have been low in some parts of the state for much of the water year, with timely rainfall helping to avoid water shortages during times of concern. The 2021 Water Year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.