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Crop is better than expected

By Staff | Oct 26, 2013

Despite a wet spring and dry July and August, farmers have been reporting a better-than-expected crop throughout the region.

“It’s kind of normal. It’s not a bumper crop by any means, but it’s better than we expected,” said ISU Extension crop specialist Paul Kassel.

While late-planted beans put into the ground around June 20 have been yielding in the low-40s, Kassel said May plantings have been hitting the upper 50s. Corn yields have been 180-plus bushels.

Those who made early planting in late April or a dry week from May 10-17 will likely have the best crop, except for spots that were drowned out.

Going forward, Kassel said subsoil moisture is down, but hopefully that will be helped with some decent rains in October.

In his weekly crop report released Monday, 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.

“Farmers remain busy in combines across the state as 70 percent of the soybeans and 35 percent of corn has been harvested statewide,” Northey said. “It is a busy time as farmers try to finish harvest and make progress on fall fieldwork.”

The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website. The report summary follows here:

Crop report

Mostly favorable weather allowed harvest of corn and soybeans to advance during the week ending Oct. 20, 2013, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Fall tillage was underway in areas already harvested.

Recent rains have helped soil moisture levels. Topsoil moisture levels rated 20 percent very short, 34 percent short, 46 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 29 percent very short, 38 percent short, 32 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Southeast Iowa remained the driest with over 95 percent of the topsoil moisture rated short and very short. Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 53 percent moderate to heavy this week. Ninety-seven percent of Iowa reported adequate or surplus off-farm grain storage availability and 90 percent reported adequate or surplus on-farm grain storage availability.

With almost the entire corn crop mature, 35 percent of the corn had been harvested for grain or seed, 15 percentage points behind normal. Moisture content of all corn in the field was estimated at 22 percent while moisture content of corn harvested was 19 percent. Corn lodging was rated at 67 percent none, 21 percent light, 10 percent moderate and 2 percent heavy. Corn ear droppage was rated at 75 percent none, 17 percent light, 6 percent moderate and 2 percent heavy. Corn condition was 6 percent very poor, 15 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 37 percent good and 8 percent excellent.

With almost all the soybean crop dropping leaves, 70 percent of soybeans had been harvested, 11 percentage points behind normal. Soybean lodging was rated at 80 percent none, 15 percent light, 4 percent moderate and 1 percent heavy. Soybean shattering was rated at 76 percent none, 20 percent light, 4 percent moderate and 0 percent heavy. Soybean condition improved slightly to 8 percent very poor, 15 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 36 percent good and 6 percent excellent.