Warm, dry and windy conditions helped Iowa farmers make significant progress on harvesting the state’s corn and soy¬≠ bean crops in the week that ended Sunday.
Fifty-two percent of the corn for grain has been harvested, nearly two weeks ahead of last year, and equal to the five-year average, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Moisture content of all corn harvested was 17 percent, down 2 percentage points from the previous week. Harold Hciinmes, fuel specialist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, said that will reduce the amount of propane needed to dry down the crop to prevent spoilage in storage.
“The grain elevators want it dried down to 15 percent,” Hommes said. “They typically charge 5 cents per bushel to get it down to that level.”
A two-year study by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach found corn at 23 percent moisture content required about 150 gallons of propane per 1,000 bushels of corn to dry down to 15 percent moisture content. But corn at 18 percent moisture content required only 75 gallons of propane to dry the same amount of corn down to 15 percent. The average retail price for propane is 99.4 cents per gallon, down from $1.62 per gallon at this time last year, according to the IDALS weekly fuel price report.
“The dry, windy and weather have allowed crops to dry quickly and farmers are encouraged to continue to exercise caution as the conditions exist for fires to start and potentially spread quickly,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey in a news release.
Eighty-three percent of Iowa’s soybean crop has been harvested, 10 days ahead of last year, and two days ahead of the five-year average. Ninety-seven percent of soybeans were dropping leaves or beyond, two days behind normal.

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