The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

October 22, 2012

Harvest pace slows as rain falls

OTTUMWA — Iowa's harvest was delayed last week, but the rain responsible was badly needed.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says only about half of last week was suitable for farmers to bring in the harvest. Months of arid weather have finally given way to a wet October, with more rain falling this month than any time since early spring.

Soil moisture levels show improvement, though 31 percent of topsoil remains very short. Subsoil moisture is worse, with 60 percent rated very short. Still, those numbers are improvements on prior weeks' reports.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker wrote that the most rain fell in east central and far western Iowa, though the entire state saw some rainfall. Keoasauqua was the week's warm spot, with a high of 81 degrees.

The corn harvest remained well ahead of normal, with 93 percent of the crop already out of the fields. Ninety-six percent of the soybeans have been harvested, which puts that harvest three weeks ahead of schedule.

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