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Serving: IA

Only 1% of Iowa corn left to harvest

Rod Swoboda a harvest field in fall
RECHARGE NEEDED: Iowa’s subsoil moisture supply is low this fall and needs rain to replenish it for next year’s crops.
This is the final weekly Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report for 2020.

Iowa farmers have harvested 99% of the state’s 2020 corn crop, according to the weekly statewide survey released Nov. 30 by USDA. Only 1% of Iowa’s 2020 corn crop remains to be harvested. This year’s finish is over two weeks ahead of last year and just over one week ahead of the five-year average. Most of the scattered fields left to harvest are in southern Iowa.

“This week marks the end of the 2020 weekly crop progress and conditions reports from USDA NASS,” says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Despite some challenging weather conditions this growing season, the majority of Iowa farmers wrapped up harvest three weeks sooner than normal.”

Iowa short on moisture

Those challenging conditions during the 2020 growing season included drought and dry weather in varying degrees across Iowa. The weekly report issued Nov. 30 shows subsoil moisture supplies for Iowa are rated 20% very short, 33% short, 46% adequate and 1% surplus.

“We will closely monitor the needed precipitation over the next few months. We need the moisture from rain and snow to help recharge soil conditions before planting begins next spring,” Naig says.

The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report is available on USDA’s site at The report is released weekly from April through November.

Crop progress

Scattered rain and snow showers only allowed Iowa farmers 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Nov. 29, according to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. The southeast portion of the state received the most precipitation. Fieldwork activities included harvesting corn for grain, baling cornstalks, applying fertilizer and manure, and hauling grain to elevators.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 12% very short, 28% short, 58% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 20% very short, 33% short, 46% adequate and 1% surplus.

Only 1% of Iowa’s corn for grain crop remains to be harvested, over two weeks ahead of last year and just over one week ahead of the five-year average. Most of the scattered fields left to harvest are in the southern one-third of the state.

Cattle remain on cornstalk fields. Producers continue to haul water for cattle on corn stalks. Fluctuating temperatures have caused some stress for calves in hutches.

Weather summary

“For the week ending Nov. 29, 2020, a more active storm track brought above-average precipitation to much of southern Iowa, as multiple days of rain and some snow fell across most of the state,” reports Justin Glisan, state climatologist at the Iowa Department of Agriculture. “Precipitation between 1.5 and 2 inches above acreage was observed in southeast Iowa, while the northwest corner reported only a few tenths of an inch.

“Unseasonable warmth also persisted through the reporting period with a statewide average temperature of 36.0 degrees [F], 5.7 degrees above normal.”

Weekly precipitation totals ranged from no accumulation at Sibley (Osceola County) to 2.78 inches in Sigourney (Keokuk County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.82 inch, while the normal is 0.43 inch.

Several weather stations in central and southern Iowa reported the week’s high temperature of 58 degrees on Nov. 28, on average 18 degrees above normal. Battle Creek (Ida County) reported the week’s low temperature of 14 degrees on Nov. 23, 5 degrees below normal. Four-inch soil temperatures as of Nov. 29 were in the mid-30s north to low 40s south.”

TAGS: Corn Weather
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