Last year’s rain- and snow-plagued harvest season is a distant memory for Iowa farmers. The recent spell of dry weather in Iowa has helped put the 2010 harvest about a month ahead of the harvest pace of 2009.

About 80% of the state’s soybeans have been harvested according to the weekly report issued by the U.S.D.A. Forty percent of the state’s corn crop has been picked. The high tempertures over the past few weeks also mean the crop has dried in the field, so farmers don’t have to spend extra money drying the crop in the bin.

The warm, dry fall has dried the grass in some pastures. Farmers in some areas are moving their livestock into harvested corn fields so their cattle can eat the corn stalks.