Soggy conditions persisted for yet another week leaving Iowa farmers just 3.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 30, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included seeding cover crops and harvesting corn, soybeans and hay when weather permitted.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 3 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 27 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 5 percent short, 67 percent adequate and 25 percent surplus. While topsoil moisture supplies in south central Iowa have improved to above 70 percent rated adequate to surplus, subsoil moisture levels still rated 59 percent short to very short.
Eighty-eight percent of the corn crop was mature, just over a week ahead of average. Eleven percent of the State’s corn for grain crop has been harvested, 5 days ahead of average. Farmers in southeast Iowa continue to lead the way with 29 percent of their corn for grain harvested. Moisture content of field corn being harvested was at 21 percent. Corn condition rated 75 percent good to excellent. Nearly all of the soybean crop was coloring with 88 percent dropping leaves, 9 days ahead of average. Fifteen percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, 1 day ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 74 percent good to excellent.
The third cutting of alfalfa hay was nearly complete at 98 percent. Pasture conditions improved slightly to 53 percent good to excellent. Pastures have responded well to recent rains and cooler temperatures. Muddy conditions made feedlots challenging.