Freezing Temperatures Make Harvest Easier

There is an 80 percent chance of a weak to moderate El Nino according to State Climatologist Dr. Justin Glisan, which tends to mean above average temperatures in Iowa and variable precipitation.

Looking back, he says, the very end of October was pretty dry, "Which allowed for farmers to get out into the fields after a very wet start to October. And then we moved into November, which the first part was relatively wet, especially the eastern part of the state, and also around average temperatures. But then you get into last week and temperatures just plummeted."

Glisan says the freeze helped farmers get heavy machinery into the fields. That shows in the Iowa Crop Progress report, there were about four days good for field work in the last week.

The corn harvest is 83 percent complete, particularly in northern Iowa where wet soils had slowed down combines. Moisture content of field corn is averaging 16 percent.

Soybean harvest is 94 percent done, three days behind last year and four days behind the average.

Soil moisture content in southern Iowa is good, more than 80 percent adequate to surplus.

Glisan says all the precipitation in the Fall helped the moisture levels, "We've actually moved all of drought and and abnormally dry conditions from southern Iowa, which had been in a pretty significant drought over the past season."