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Hawkeye state harvest ahead of schedule

With nearly perfect conditions, Iowa farmers more than doubled the harvested acres of corn and soybeans last week.

According the the USDA Crop Progress Report, as of Oct. 9. 23% of Iowa corn has been harvested, ahead of the five-year average by 4%. Soybean harvest is 55% complete statewide, nearly 20% above average. 

"So far, it's been a pretty darn good harvest," says Robb Ewoldt, who farms in Scott and Muscatine counties. 

Ewoldt says he has harvested roughly 35% of his corn and 50% of his soybeans. With clear weather conditions, his primary challenge has been crop moisture. 

“Some of this corn doesn’t seem to want to dry down too fast,” he says, adding some soybeans also "took their own sweet time to dry." 

Ewoldt describes his yields this year as exceptional, noting this is the best harvest he has seen. 

The Power of Rain

Across the state, Kelly Nieuwenhuis, who farms near Primghar, is only seeing average yields. The difference? Rain. 

Between May and September, Ewold's area saw nearly 6 more inches of rain than Nieuwenhuis. Nieuwenhuis notes he even notices a difference in yield between fields that got more rain than others. 

“Those extra two or three inches during the growing season made a world of difference,” he says. 

According the the U.S. Drought Monitor, over 26% of O'Brien County is currently under D3 extreme drought. The whole county is under some level of drought.

Nieuwenhuis says this year his crop was helped by the moisture retained in the soil, but next year he will need a lot more rain. 

Iowa Drought Conditions 10-11-22

On top of the dry conditions, Nieuwenhuis is contending with winds increasing the risk of fire. He says there have been several field fires in his area, and the threat of fire has slowed down his harvest process.

Despite challenges, he expects to finish harvest early this year. His soybean harvest is complete, and he says he's only seven to 10 days away from wrapping up the corn harvest. 

"Just depends on how many windy days we have," he says. 

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Will you have enough on-farm storage for harvest?

I just want to see the responses
46% (21 votes)
35% (16 votes)
No, it’s going to be a bin-buster
9% (4 votes)
Maybe, depending on yields
7% (3 votes)
No, I am looking at new bins or temporary storage
4% (2 votes)
Total votes: 46
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