Harvest made rapid progress again as Iowa farmers had 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 4, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field activities also included baling corn stalks, applying fertilizer and manure, and fall tillage.
Topsoil moisture condition rated 14% very short, 31% short, 55% adequate and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 20% very short, 32% short, 48% adequate and 0% surplus.
Corn reached 92% mature or beyond, almost 3 weeks ahead of the previous year and 10 days ahead of the 5-year average. One-quarter of the corn for grain in the State has been harvested, over 3 weeks ahead of last year and 12 days ahead of average. This is only the second time since 2000 that at least one-quarter of the corn for grain crop was harvested by October 4. Moisture content of field corn being harvested for grain was at 20 percent. Corn condition rated 45% good to excellent.
Soybeans dropping leaves or beyond reached 93%, just over 2 weeks ahead of last year and 9 days ahead of average. One-quarter of Iowa’s soybean crop was harvested during the week ending October 4 with 55% now harvested. This is the second time in the last 15 years that at least half of the soybean crop was harvested by October 4. Farmers in south central Iowa are considerably behind farmers in the rest of the State with just 18% of their crop harvested. Soybean condition rated 49% good to excellent.
Pasture condition rated 20% good to excellent, unchanged from the previous week. Pasture growth is minimal with reduced daylight hours and cool temperatures. Some cattle producers have had to supplement water supplies.
Forest City Area Weather Summary
The final days of September into the beginning of October were unseasonably cool statewide with negative temperature departures ranging from six to ten degrees. The statewide average temperature was 50.2 degrees, 7.6 degrees below normal. Measurable rainfall was reported across Iowa as above average totals were observed in the southeast. Drier than normal conditions were reported across the rest of Iowa with departures across northern Iowa ranging from 0.50 inch to 0.70 inch below normal. A cold front pushed through Iowa during most of Sunday (27th) bringing measurable rainfall across the state. Since then, conditions remained fairly dry and cool.
The area finished the month of September 1.5 degrees below normal for highs and .8 degrees below normal for lows. The average high was 74.6 degrees while the normal is 76.1 degrees. The average low was 54 degrees while the normal is 55.2 degrees.
Precipitation wise, the area finished above normal at 3.96 inches. The normal for September is 3.05 inches of precipitation.
The forecast for this week will be excellent for field work. No rain is in the forecast through Monday of next week. Temperatures will be more seasonable with highs in the low to mid 70s and lows hovering between the low to mid 70’s. It may be possible to get seven full days of fieldwork in this week.