This is my last crop progress report of the season. Harvest is almost complete in NW Iowa. Rain, snowfall, and very cold weather over the past two weeks has delayed the remaining harvest. The extended forecast is mostly dry and warmer than average, so looks like harvest and field work can get finished up. The relatively small amount of precipitation we’ve had recently won’t make a dent in the big picture. Soil moisture levels are low going into next year. We’ll need a period of well above average rainfall between now and next June to replenish the soil.
Corn harvest went smoothly in this area with dry corn and good weather. We didn’t have many problems with down corn, unlike the Derecho areas farther south and east. Fires were a problem this fall in the fields. Several hot and windy days during harvest led to multiple fires that were difficult to stop. Yields were highly variable depending on rainfall, soil quality, fertility, and other factors. Overall, most yields were respectable considering the dry summer. We are hopeful the remainder of the fall will allow time for fertilizer, lime, tile projects, and any other field work needed.
Grain markets fell hard yesterday and are lower again today. Other commodities such as crude oil and gold were also lower. Worries about COVID shutting down world economies again is probably the biggest reason. A lack of new Chinese purchases, rainfall in South America, and the upcoming election may also be part of it. We’ll see if this is a sort term sell off or a longer term trend change. The overall fundamentals have not changed much this week vs last week.
I will start sending these reports again next spring. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season!