Farmers are continuing to harvest this year’s crops, and although many are getting closer to finishing, some are still battling high moisture levels.
Moisture levels in corn and especially the soybeans are still running high.
Farmers are still seeing high moisture levels, simply put, our weather conditions have not been conducive to drying conditions. As you know, we have had several days with heavy fog, mist, cloud cover, and of course we still
haven’t had a hard freeze as of yet. All of these factors make it difficult to have the grain dry down to the point for safe long-term storage. In the weekly crop report according to the US Department of Agriculture, Iowa farmers have harvested 89% of the soybeans, and 71% of the corn. Both of which are behind normal harvesting schedules.
In speaking with Paul Kassel, an Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist for Northwest Iowa based in Spencer, Kassel spoke to us about the harvest activity in the Spencer area.
“You know we had a pretty good fall. Now, as I say that, we’ve had some warm temperatures. Every time it warms up, we get some humid weather, I’m sure just like you folks. It has not been the best for grain dry down. Its not terrible, but, we still have I guess for the time of year, we are looking at, and with the temperatures we’ve had, you would expect the grain to be dryer. But we still see a lot of grain in the upper teens. So, we’re seeing that…that has slowed things down a little bit, and we still have some soybeans yet to harvest so that is still a concern too,” says Kassel.
The Iowa State University crops specialist says most of the soybeans in his area have been harvested, but there are some farmers that have a few acres left. He says some grain elevators have turned farmers away if they were delivering soybeans with too high of moisture levels.
“We don’t have a lot to go, but there are a few fields here and there, and its just been so difficult to get the moisture down to 13 percent, and you know, when soybean and grain moisture is 14…15…16 percent, so it really motivated people to get it down to 13, and its been difficult. So, there are people that are hopeful, or hoping the weather will allow them to finish up this week,” says Kassel.
Kassel says the yields have been very good to excellent for both corn and soybeans within his area.
“Yeah, just exceptional soybeans, just a lot of people that had some 65 bushels per acre yield, and more. It’s…it’s fairly common. So, a lot of good soybean yields. And corn yields have been very good too. There’s been a little concern about the grain moisture…a little slow to dry down, but still some really good yields for both crops,” says Kassel.
When looking at this year’s harvest timeline as compared to previous years, the Iowa corn harvest is about two days behind the normal five-year average, and the soybean harvest is running about a week behind last year’s pace, and five days behind the five-year average.