Cold Temperatures Helping Grain in Harvest

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A week of heavy rainfall across the state only allowed for about three days good for field work according to the Iowa Crop Progress report.

With all the corn in the dent stage now, about 74 percent is mature, and five percent of corn for grain is harvested, five days ahead of the average. Farmers in southeast Iowa lead the way with about a fifth of corn harvested. Moisture content for corn is averaging at 22 percent.

Ninety-three percent of the soybean crop is coloring with 72 percent dropping leaves, about a week ahead of average. Eight percent of soybeans are harvested, five days ahead of the average.

Rains have been a concern for moisture levels and humidity, State Climatologist Dr. Justin Glisan explains there was a good drying out period a week ago.

He is optimistic about future weather, "When we have a lot of precipitation, we got a lot of moisture in the soil, right? So, we get a lot of evaporation in the atmosphere, we have high humidity, so hopefully towards the end of the month we're expecting below average temperatures so this should help with the humidity aspect of grain storage."

Glisan says the month as a whole has seen three to four inches above normal precipitation. Across the state, that has led to an average 25 surplus in topsoil and subsoil moisture levels. However, south central and southeast Iowa are still struggling with dry soils, varying between 39 percent to 62 percent short to very short subsoil moisture.

Glisan says October will also reduce humidity, "What we see in terms of temperature are below average are below average temperatures especially going into later in the fall with El Nino forming."

Glisan says El Nino has a 50 percent chance of forming in the Fall, moving to a 75 percent chance of forming in the winter, which tends to mean above average temperatures. He says precipitation can vary depending on the strength of the weather event.

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