DES MOINES Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today 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.
"After amazingly agreeable weather for most of the fall, harvest is quickly coming to a close across the state and farmers are moving on to other fall fieldwork," Northey said.
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia . The report follows here:
FARMERS FOCUS ON FALL
Agricultural Summary: After a month of ideal harvesting conditions, Iowa received high winds, scattered rain showers, and a few snow flurries last week. Rainfall amounts were minimal with most of the state experiencing less than half an inch. Winds throughout the week were in the twenties with gusts over 50 miles per hour at times. Along with several blustery days, daytime temperatures were in the sixties with overnight lows dropping into the twenties leading to frost in many areas.
As November begins, Iowa producers are wrapping up their 2010 harvest. Farmers are now focusing on fall fieldwork. Primary activities include tilling fields, installing tile, and baling corn stalks. Growers are also moving forward with anhydrous application as soil temperatures have begun to drop.
There were 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork last week, below the 6.4 recorded the previous week. Only Northwest Iowa reported less than 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork, at 4.7 days suitable, while Southwest recorded the highest number of days, at 6.3 days suitable. Topsoil moisture rated 7 percent very short, 21 percent short, 69 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 4 percent very short, 15 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 6 percent surplus.
Field Crops Report: Ninety-four percent of the corn acres have been harvested, 36 days ahead of last year and 26 days ahead of the five-year average and the furthest corn harvest has been by October 31st since 2000 when 97 percent of the corn acres had been harvested. Nearly all soybean acres have been harvested in the northern two-thirds of the state, while a small number of acres remain to be harvested in the southern third. Grain movement was reported at 28 percent none, 28 percent light, 30 percent moderate, and 14 percent heavy. On-farm storage availability rated 18 percent short, 74 percent adequate, and 8 percent surplus, while off-farm storage availability rated 15 percent short, 76 percent adequate, and 9 percent surplus.
Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 5 percent very poor, 13 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 38 percent good, and 8 percent excellent. Hay and roughage availability rated 12 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus. The quality of hay and roughage rated 14 percent poor, 49 percent fair, and 37 percent good.