Capital Clicks

Corn and soybean harvests are ahead of five-year average

By: - October 17, 2022 4:06 pm

Soybeans are harvested from a western Iowa field. (Photo by Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

About 38% of Iowa’s corn crop has been harvested, and about 74% of the state’s soybeans have been taken from the fields, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Monday.

That’s well ahead of the five-year averages for both crops. Typically, about 29% of corn and 49% of soybeans have been harvested at this time of the year.

There has been ample time in recent weeks for field work, the USDA reported. In each of the past two weeks, farmers had an average of more than six days of suitable conditions to harvest.

But some farmers have been hesitant to harvest corn because it hasn’t dried sufficiently. Much of the state had delayed planting because of April rains, which had the potential to delay the crop’s maturation. Farmers can incur extra expense to dry corn for storage, and wet corn can be more difficult to harvest.

Average rainfall for the state was well below normal last week, but it was also cooler than normal. The state averaged about 2.6 degrees below normal, according to a state climatologist weather summary. An average of .18 of an inch of rain fell, compared with the normal of .54.

The state is drier than it’s been in more than a year due to the lack of rain. September was the 24th driest on record.

“For the first time since August 2013, all of the state is experiencing some form of abnormal dryness or drought,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said, “but weather outlooks through the end of (the) month are indicating potential shifts toward wetter conditions and warmer temperatures.”

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Jared Strong
Jared Strong

Senior reporter Jared Strong has written about Iowans and the important issues that affect them for more than 15 years, previously for the Carroll Times Herald and the Des Moines Register. His investigative work exposing police misconduct has notched several state and national awards. He is a longtime trustee of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, which fights for open records and open government. He is a lifelong Iowan and has lived mostly in rural western parts of the state.

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