AGRICULTURE

Iowa crop year ends with many challenges overcome, officials say

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Farm Forum

DES MOINES — As Iowa farmers closed another crop year, they drew praise from state agriculture officials.

“At the end of each growing season farmers reflect on the year, but also look forward to the next and consider what they can do to make the next year even more successful,” Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey said in his final crop assessment of the season.

“2013 certainly presented a number of challenges, from late planting due to wet weather to a flash drought late in the summer, but overall it was a fairly successful year that showed again the resiliency and commitment of Iowa’s farmers.”

Cold and wet weather persisted across Iowa during the week ending Sunday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Iowa corn harvest for grain or seed is nearing completion at 97 percent harvested, four percentage points ahead of normal. Other activities for the week included finishing fall tillage and baling corn stalks.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 8 percent very short, 23 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 20 percent very short, 35 percent short, 44 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 31 percent moderate to heavy. Ninety-four percent of Iowa reported adequate or surplus off-farm grain storage availability and 85 percent reported adequate or surplus on-farm grain storage availability.