By Jared Strong
A cold and very dry week allowed crop harvest in Iowa to continue at a rate that is more than a week ahead of schedule, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
About 89% of the state’s corn and 97% of soybeans were harvested as of Sunday.
“Corn and soybean harvest is beginning to wind down thanks to more agreeable weather, though there is still plenty of farm and field work left to finish up yet this fall,” said Mike Naig, the state’s agriculture secretary. “While statewide drought remains a concern heading into the 2024 growing season, the bursts of October rain helped improve soil moisture in parts of northwestern and eastern Iowa.”
Drought conditions improved in some parts of the state last month, which was the first in nine months to have above-average statewide rainfall. But last week was exceedingly dry, State Climatologist Justin Glisan reported.
The highest rain total for the week was 0.07 inches in far northeast Iowa. The vast majority of the state had no rain. Temperatures averaged nearly 8° F below normal.
Available soil moisture receded, USDA reported. About 45% of topsoil and 30% of subsoil has adequate or surplus moisture, down from 53% and 33% the week prior.