Southwest of Storm Lake

Crop Conditions as of 10-8-20

Past Weeks Rainfall None. Very dry since the 2nd week of September.
Soil Moisture The weekly crop report from Iowa Ag Statistics rates 50% of west-central Iowa at very short on subsoil moisture, with almost 75% of the topsoil being short or very short. Water levels in shallow wells have dropped considerably since July.
Temperature Warm days still hitting 80’s but cool-off into the 60’s and 70’s for highs is coming. The full moon of October 2 brought a light frost.
Crop Progress Most of bean harvest is done. West-central Iowa was rated 75% done as of October 4. Well into corn with 27% harvested as of Oct 4.



Crop Stage Many fields are very dry moisture, dropping below 15% while other fields remain near 20%. Quite dry for early October. Crop Stage Most were harvested by end of September. Only later maturities remain to be harvested for most farmers. Moisture dropped fast to the 10% range.
Yield Potential Less than anticipated and less than budgeted, but good soils held up well thanks to the great early start. Light soils gave up in August. Yield Potential   Same on corn, held in fairly well but most of the yield potential had already been formed by end of July. Early start made a huge difference in the outcome.

Corn Market

Soybean Market

Current Prices  $3.57 Current Prices  $9.90
October  $3.47 Fall Price  $8.85
Past Weeks Trend Corn has gained about 75¢/bu since early August. Past Weeks Trend Beans have gained about $2/bu since June 1.


I checked back on my earlier reports for this page. On August 4th, I noted that corn had started tipping back and that it had better rain soon. There was a smattering of rain on August 10th when the derecho storm was forming in our area, but that was it until the 2nd week of September. We’re seeing the majority of the beans in the 50’s for yield (52-57 is common) but with considerable variability. There have been some great yields in the few spots fortunate enough to catch a few extra rain showers, but also fields with poor soils that are 25-35 bushels per acre. Corn so far has mostly ranged from 175 to 210 bushels per acre but again, great variability and credible reports of fields under 100 bushels per acre. That is due to drought. Not much derecho impact on this territory.

USDA made a huge adjustment to Grain Stocks in their September 30th quarterly report. Watch the monthly Supply/Demand reports from now until January for further adjustments. This could get interesting for prices, but keep in mind that China may decide they’ve got enough until the next South American harvest, which would likely trigger a price set-back.

Looking back at the past six years of daily prices, nearly every year both corn and bean prices have risen into the 2nd or 3rd week of October, before settling out or falling back slightly. With prices back up to levels that we’ve lived with in corn and higher than normal on beans, it is a good time to be watching closely if you’re looking to make harvest sales. However, strong demand has only been out-paced by huge production in recent times. Maybe this is the year we tighten that ratio and reach multi-year highs again.

Dennis Reyman, AFM, ARA

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