Iowa harvest advances, farmers ahead of average

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Farmers finally caught up this week as favorable weather for harvest put them ahead of the normal for the first time this growing season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 75 percent of corn in Iowa is now harvested, 4 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Some corn has higher moisture content than desirable for storage and farmers are leaving it in the field to allow it to further dry. Drying corn with propane-powered dryers increases cost and cuts into profits.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says limited propane supply also is creating challenges. The soybean harvest is 95 percent complete, four days ahead of normal. Nationally, 73 percent of corn is harvested, better than 71 percent average and soybeans are at 86 percent, which is near the average.