DES MOINES Nov. 5: Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey 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.
"With just two percent of corn and one percent of beans still in the field harvest is nearly complete," Northey said. "Fall fertilizer applications are starting as soil temperatures drop below 50 degrees. The early harvest and agreeable weather has also allowed significant construction of conservation practices to take place."
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
As most farmers in Iowa have completed harvest, applying fertilizer, especially anhydrous, has been a popular activity according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Iowa Field Office. Other activities have included repairing fences and installing conservation practices such as terraces or grassed waterways. Although dry weather aided field work, many farmers would appreciate more precipitation to replenish moisture levels prior to the ground freezing for the winter.
There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture levels declined to 28 percent very short, 41 percent short, 31 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture also declined slightly and is now rated 62 percent very short, 31 percent short, 7 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. Grain movement slowed further, with just 19 percent of the State seeing moderate to heavy grain movement from farm to elevator. As harvest nears completion, only 1 percent of the State reported being short of off-farm storage capacity and 3 percent of the State reported inadequate on-farm storage capacity.
Ninety-eight percent of the corn crop has been harvested for grain or seed, a month ahead of normal. Ninety-nine percent of the State's soybean crop has been harvested. Most of what remains to be harvested is in the southern one-third of the State.
Thirty-one percent of Iowa's pasture and range land is rated in fair or better condition. Pasture and range condition is rated at 45 percent very poor, 24 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 7 percent good, and 0 percent excellent. Hay supplies are still considered short across 42 percent of Iowa with 37 percent of the hay supply considered in good condition. Recent conditions have been favorable to livestock with no stress reported. Cattle are still grazing on fields of corn stalks. More corn stalks have been baled this fall than normal, likely to supplement livestock feed this winter.