Iowa Harvest Speeds Ahead

This photo from Sept. 12, 2012 shows a stream of corn, ground up for animal feed, being whipped up by strong winds in Arapahoe, Neb. The latest update on the worst U.S. drought in decades shows that farmers bringing in their weakened corn crops had some relief with recent rains that soaked much of middle America. The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 shows two-thirds of Iowa now in extreme or exceptional drought, the two worst categories. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa farmers are close to wrapping up this year's harvest as they work to get drought-damage crops out of the fields as cooler weather arrives.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 76 percent of the corn has been harvested, which is a month ahead of normal. Eighty percent of the soybeans are in from the fields, which is two weeks ahead of normal.

The USDA says in Tuesday's report that the corn condition is 47 percent poor or very poor, 33 percent fair and 20 percent in good or excellent shape. Soybeans are 31 percent poor or very poor, 37 percent fair and 32 percent in good or excellent condition.

The statewide average rainfall was .05 inches. It's the 20th week of the past 22 with below normal precipitation.

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