Rain and snow early in the week along with cooler temperatures limited Iowa farmers to 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 1, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities reported included harvesting corn and soybeans, baling corn stalks, applying fertilizer and manure, moving grain to town and tillage.
Topsoil moisture condition rated 13% very short, 28% short, 58% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 19% very short, 34% short, 46% adequate and 1% surplus.
Only 13% of Iowa’s corn for grain crop remains to be harvested, over 3 weeks ahead of last year and 13 days ahead of the 5-year average. Statewide, the moisture content of field corn being harvested for grain fell 1 percentage point to 15%. Farmers in northwest, north central and west central Iowa have less than 10% of their corn for grain remaining to be harvested while farmers in south central Iowa still have over 30% to be harvested.
Only 3% of Iowa’s soybean crop remains to be harvested, just over 3 weeks ahead of last year and 2 weeks ahead of average. Farmers in northwest, north central and west central Iowa have few fields left to harvest with 1% or less of their soybeans remaining. In contrast, farmers in the southern one-third of the state have 9-10% of their soybeans left to be harvested. Livestock producers continue to allow cattle to graze on corn stalks.
Forest City Area Weather Summary
Colder than average temperatures persisted across Iowa during the reporting period with much of western Iowa reporting weekly negative departures of up to 16 degrees. The statewide average temperature was 35.4 degrees, 12.0 degrees below normal. Besides light snow falling across much of the state early in the week, unseasonably dry conditions prevailed over Iowa with the driest conditions reported in eastern Iowa. Precipitation departures of up to 0.70 inch were observed in the state’s southeast corner.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Brad Small says that is about to change this week.
All of this is due to a radical change in the jet stream and a large high pressure system.
Local temperatures were well below normal last week for this time in October. Highs finished 8 degrees below normal with the average high at 52 degrees and the normal at 60 degrees. Lows finished 4.4 degrees below normal with the average low at 33.4 degrees and the normal at 37.8 degrees. Our precipitation also finished below normal for the month. The area received 1.08 inches with the normal at 2.33 inches. This left the area 1.25 inches below normal for the month.