After a hot weekend with high temperatures in the 90s, much cooler weather is rolling in, and Iowa farmers are starting to get their tractors and combines rolling into the fields.

Angie Rieck Hinz, an agronomist with Iowa State University, says harvest season is just beginning. “We’ve got some corn out,” Rieck Hinz says. “The guys who usually start earlier with corn, sometimes larger operators are taking corn out a little higher moisture than what we would normally say with what appears to be a nice, long, dry fall coming.”

The recent warm weather has cooperated with the early stages of the harvest season, especially in north-central Iowa. “We’ve got yield estimates anywhere from 75 bushels an acre up to just short of 200,” she says. “The further west you go, the further south you go, where we were a little bit drier this summer, we’re seeing yields in the 125, 150, maybe 175 bushels, that neck of the woods.”

The unseasonable weather last week helped get many Iowa corn crops in prime condition for harvest. “With the really warm temperatures and that south wind over the weekend, we’ve been seeing corn fields turn pretty quickly as things are starting to dry down,” Rieck Hinz says. “Nobody’s panicking. We’re still really early. People are taking their time, doing their thing. A lot of guys are going to wait for that corn to dry a little bit more so they don’t have to pay for drying at the elevator.”

A report from the state ag department finds 52-percent of the state’s corn had reached maturity, five days behind average, while five-percent of the soybean crop has already been harvested, two days behind average.

(Thanks to Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)