Corn harvest progressed by leaps and bounds for Iowa farmers for the week ending Oct. 22.
As a result, surging 20% from the previous week, Iowa saw the greatest percentage of corn harvested compared to other top corn growing states.
Iowa corn harvest progress
For the week ending Oct. 22, USDA reported that 62% of the state’s corn had been harvested. Harvest progress in the 2023 season is ahead of this time last year by 6%. This is also well above the five-year average of 47%.
Recent Iowa weather
“Warmer and generally dry conditions allowed for harvest to take another big step forward, with soybeans nearing completion,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig on Monday.
A weather summary provided by Justin Glisan, Iowa state climatologist, says that temperatures were unseasonably warm statewide. The average temperature was 52° F, 2.2° F above normal.
In the same time period, precipitation was sparse, at 0.40 to 0.60 inches below average. The statewide average precipitation for the week was 0.10 inches.
Days that were suitable for field work were 5.7, and USDA reported that corn and soybean harvest continued to be the primary field activities for the week.
The most recent Crop Progress report rated Iowa topsoil moisture 16% very short, 38% short, 44% adequate, and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 28% very short, 43% short, 28% adequate, and 1% surplus.
Latest Iowa drought conditions
A drought map published Oct. 26 shows 24% of the state covered by D3 extreme drought conditions.
Nearly 35% of the state reports D2 severe drought.
D1 moderate drought spans 35% of the state.
Another 6% of the state is abnormally dry.
Less than 1% of Iowa is free from drought stress. This is similar to three months ago when none of the state reported no drought.
Of the state’s 99 counties, 64 have USDA disaster designations.
A look at Iowa history
The National Integrated Drought Information System reports September 2023 was the 25th-driest September on record for the state. Records go back to 1895.
So far, 2023 is shaping up to be the 10th-driest year in history for the Hawkeye state.