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Record mild weather closes harvest

Staff report

2016 was a record growing season for Iowa farmers, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said in a statement released with the state Crops and Weather Report.

Temperatures throughout the month were exceptionally mild, and average precipitation was only 0.05 inches versus the weekly normal of 0.48 inches in November.

“The cold weather finally broke a string of 28 consecutive days with above normal statewide average temperatures (Oct. 22 through Nov. 18),” State Climatologist Harry Hillaker said in the statement.

By the end of November, harvest activities were “virtually completed” according to the USDA.

“Although parts of northwest Iowa received snow, activities for the state during the week included harvesting, baling corn stalks, tiling, terracing, hauling and spreading manure, and anhydrous application.

“Topsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 14 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 9 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus.

“Ninety-eight percent of the corn crop for grain has been harvested, two days ahead of the 5-year average. Moisture content of all corn for grain being harvested in Iowa was 16 percent. Southwest and south central Iowa were still lagging slightly behind with approximately 8 percent of the corn crop and 5 percent of the soybean crop remaining to be harvested.

“Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 51 percent moderate to heavy, down 4 percentage points from the previous week. Off-farm grain storage availability was rated 63 percent adequate to surplus. On-farm grain storage availability was rated 58 percent adequate to surplus.

“Livestock conditions were described as good and many fields have cows out in the corn stalks.”