Migration Report for the Week of October 15, 2010
For the third week in a row, weather in the upper Midwest has been dominated by high pressure systems that brought warmer and drier than average conditions to most of Iowa. These conditions enabled farmers to get crops out well ahead of schedule; 40% percent of the corn was harvested as of Monday, Oct. 11, which puts the harvest 30 days ahead of last year and 14 days ahead of the 5-year average. This is the most advanced corn harvest since 2000. Eighty percent of the soybeans were harvested as of Monday, which is 28 days ahead of last year and 13 days ahead of the 5-year average.
Despite the mild weather, some new ducks and geese moved into the state and several observers noted minor migrations on October 11 and 13. Good numbers of shovelers, pintails, wigeon, and green-wings were noted on many areas, along with influxes of some of the first diving ducks (cans, redheads, ring-necks, and ruddy ducks; 36,000 canvasbacks were observed on Pools 4-9 on Oct. 12). Some small Canada geese and white-fronts also moved into the state this past week. Fair to good habitat conditions across the north zone, populated with fair numbers of ducks, bodes well for a good second duck opener in this zone this weekend.
Alan W. Hancock