Rain delays harvest

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- There was almost no time to harvest last week, only 2.6 days good for fieldwork according to the Iowa Crop Progress report.

Around 87 percent of corn has reached maturity, two days behind the average. But only eight percent of the corn crop has been harvested, more than two weeks behind the average. Moisture content is averaging 22 percent.

Soybean harvest is also moving along slowly with 92 percent of beans dropping leaves, 26 percent of the crop has been harvested, putting it about a week behind the five year average. The rate of soybean harvest varies a lot across the state. Only 9 percent is harvested in South Central Iowa, while 47 percent of beans are out in east central.

This month has had a lot of rain for Iowa, not even two weeks into October and there has been more rainfall than the statewide monthly average.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says these first 10 days have produced the most moisture in October since 2009, with the northwest half of the state getting anywhere from five to six inches.

Hillaker says it was abnormally dry for July and August, "And then, now here in October, when you're hoping for dry weather for harvest, we're getting just the opposite. I guess on the positive side you can certainly use the subsoil moisture for next year that we're starting to get now."

Hillaker adds the weather has been warmer than average so far. October is running about six degrees higher than normal and that trend looks to stay.

He says it looks like a warm front is east of the state, setting up Iowa for warmer and also wetter conditions than normal, which could keep farmers out of the field even longer.