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Mapping Out Another Week of October Harvest Delays

Last week was another wet week for many farmers across the Corn Belt. Precipitation and high winds in some areas made harvest difficult.

Nationally, corn harvest is 41% complete, exactly 20% behind the five-year average of 61%.

Although less dramatically, soybean harvest progress is also behind this year. The latest USDA Crop Progress report says 62% of soybeans have been harvested nationally. The five-year average is 78%.

Iowa

Iowa corn harvest is just 26% complete, well behind the five-year average of 53%. Last year at this time the corn crop was 46% harvested.

Soybean harvest is 66% complete, on target with last year’s harvest pace, but trailing the five-year average of 80%.

Farmers in the north-central part of the Hawkeye state were hit with 2 inches of rain last week, keeping them out of the fields all week. In other areas, precipitation totaled a half inch or less and caused just short delays in harvest progress.

Map of precipitation in Iowa
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

Monday and Tuesday were windy, with some northern Iowa farmers reporting wind damage.

map of iowa wind
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig was on his home farm for harvest last week. He farms with his family in Palo Alto county. Rain early in the week kept him out of the field, and high winds hit the region Monday and Tuesday, but by Friday afternoon he said they were approaching 25% of their corn acres harvested.

He says that despite a late planting season, the weather has cooperated for the most part the rest of the growing season in Palo Alto county.

“Corn is a little wetter than what we would like, but it’s something that we can manage,” Naig says. “When you have to dry corn, that can slow down harvest. That’s something many farmers are having to deal with.”

Naig plans to spend at least a couple more weeks getting his crop out. “We’ve got some late-planted corn. We planted corn the beginning of May and also the first week of June, so we’re watching that moisture pretty closely,” he explains.

As secretary of agriculture, Naig regularly hears from fellow farmers. “I’m generally hearing that folks are pleased with their yield numbers.”

Illinois

Illinois corn harvest is just 54% complete, well behind the five-year average of 80%. Last year at this time the corn crop was 88% harvested.

Soybean harvest is 69% complete, up from last week’s 52%, but trailing the five-year average of 82%.

Precipitation totals varied widely across the state of Illinois last week. More than 3.5 inches of rain were recorded in the northeast, while just 0.11 inches was recorded four counties south. The southernmost part of the state recorded 2.76 inches last week.

Map of precipitation in Illinois
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

High winds also affected farmers in northern Illinois the first part of last week.

Monday wind map for Illinois
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

Matt Swanson farms with his family near LaHarpe, Illinois, in Hancock county. Although his farm was not impacted by the gusts, he’s seen some light damage in area fields.

Last week the farm got “a couple small shots of rainfall.” He says, “We were in the field most days over the last week until it rained Saturday afternoon.”

Although the farm didn’t suffer damage from gusts that swept much of the Corn Belt early last week, Swanson’s early relative maturity hybrid was damaged by wind in July, and the yield reflected it.

Overall, “corn yield is actual production history (APH) or slightly below,” he says.

Swanson estimates he is 25% to 30% done with harvest on the acres he was able to plant this season. “We had 35% prevent plant,” he explains.

Nebraska

Nebraska corn harvest is just 44% complete, behind the five-year average of 50%. Last year at this time the corn crop was 45% harvested.

Soybean harvest is 85% complete, 1% above the five-year average of 84%. Last year at this time, 71% of the Nebraska soybean crop was harvested.

Last week, the northern half of Nebraska saw precipitation ranging up to 0.9 inch, while many southern counties didn’t record any rain.

Nebraska-Precip-Map-Oct27
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

High winds were devastating for some Nebraska farmers in the early part of last week.

map of Nebraska winds
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

Don Batie farms near Lexington, Nebraska, in Dawson county and suffered wind damage in many of his fields. “Some hybrids just broke off the tops, some bent over below the ear, and some fell over at the ground,” he says.

Field of wind damaged corn in western Nebraska fall 2019
Photo Credit: Don Batie

Minnesota

Just 22% of Minnesota corn is harvested, behind the five-year average of 56%. Last year at this time the corn crop was 55% harvested.

Minnesota farmers harvested 20% of the state’s soybeans this week to reach 62% complete. Still, that trails the 2018 rate of 83% and the five-year average of 93%.

Many Minnesota farmers recorded an inch of rain or more last week. Itasca county, Minnesota, received more than 4 inches, according to data from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet.

Map of Minnesota precipitation
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

Wanda Patsche farms with her family in Welcome, Minnesota, in Martin County. Thanks to a welcome dry spell last week, Patsche has reached the halfway point in corn harvest.

“We are seeing some green snap in the corn,” she says. “Yields are surprisingly good. Excluding the green snap, moisture is at about 21%.”

Like many Corn Belt farmers, the Patsches have to dry their corn this year. “We started tiling today while waiting for the corn dryer,” she says.

Indiana

Indiana corn harvest is just 48% complete, behind the five-year average of 66%. Last year at this time the corn crop was 75% harvested.

Soybean harvest is 71% complete and trailing the five-year average of 76%.

The southwest corner of Indiana reported significant precipitation as well, peaking at 4.62 inches near Knox and Daviess counties.

Map of Indiana precipitation
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

South Dakota

South Dakota corn harvest is finally in double digits at 14% complete, well behind the five-year average of 46%. Last year at this time, the corn crop was 39% harvested.

Soybean harvest is 58% complete and trailing the five-year average of 90%.

Three pockets of South Dakota reported more than 2 inches of rain last week, according to Iowa Environmental Mesonet data.

Map of South Dakota precipitation
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

Kansas

Kansas corn harvest is 74% complete, behind the five-year average of 82%. Last year at this time the corn crop was 75% harvested.

Soybean harvest is 56% complete and trailing the five-year average of 60%. However, more soybeans in Kansas have been harvested this year than at this point in 2018.

While most of Kansas stayed dry last week, the southeast corner of the state caught up to 1.54 inches of rain.

Map of Kansas precipitation
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

Wisconsin

Wisconsin corn harvest finally reached double digits at 13% complete, well behind the five-year average of 37%. Last year at this time, the corn crop was 44% harvested.

Soybean harvest is 46% complete and trailing the five-year average of 73%.

Most of the rain in Wisconsin was focused in the western half of the state last week. Multiple counties reported more than 3 inches of precipitation.

Map of Wisconsin precipitation
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

Missouri

Missouri corn harvest is 64% complete, 20% behind the five-year average of 84%. Last year at this time the corn crop was 89% harvested.

Soybean harvest is 43% complete and trailing the five-year average of 58%.

Southern Missouri was wet last week. More than 3 inches of rain fell in the southeast corner of the state.

Map of Missouri precipitation
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

Ohio

Ohio corn harvest is 37% complete, trailing the five-year average of 56%. Last year at this time the corn crop was 62% harvested.

Soybean harvest is further along at 70% complete and behind the five-year average of 77%.

A few areas in the Buckeye state recorded rainfall of over an inch last week.

Map of Ohio precipitation
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

North Dakota

North Dakota corn harvest is 29% complete, more than 60% behind the five-year average of 91%. Last year at this time, the corn crop was 74% harvested.

Soybean harvest is also dramatically behind the average harvest pace for the state. Just 29% of soybean harvest is complete. The five-year average for this time of year is 91%.

South-central North Dakota was the hardest hit part of the state last week, recording more than 2.5 inches of precipitation in some counties. Meanwhile, many northern counties stayed dry.

Map of North Dakota precipitation
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

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