Iowa Farmers Catching Up On Corn Planting

By George C. Ford, The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Iowa farmers were initially hampered by storms early last week, but eventually started catching up with their corn and soybean planting.

Eighty-four percent of the expected Iowa corn acreage has been planted, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. That’s 21 percent ahead of last year, but 4 percent less than the five-year average.

Farmers in east central and central Iowa have planted 91 percent of the projected corn acreage. Producers in west central Iowa have 94 percent of their crop in the ground.

Corn emergence reached 28 percent, four days in front of last year but eight days behind normal.

Soybean planting advanced 20 percent in the week that ended on Sunday to 40 percent complete, 10 percent points below the five-year average.

Statewide there were 2.6 days suitable for fieldwork. Average temperatures were several degrees below normal and frost was seen across most of the state.

Topsoil moisture levels were rated 1 percent very short, 9 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 7 percent very short, 25 percent short, 62 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus.

With oat seeding is nearing completion, 81 percent of the oat acreage has emerged, ahead of last year’s 67 percent, but 8 percent behind average. The season’s first oat condition ratings came in at zero percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 46 percent fair, 44 percent good, and 7 percent excellent.

Limited alfalfa hay has been cut, with widespread cutting expected to begin in this week. Hay condition was rated zero percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 13 percent excellent.

Pasture condition was rated 5 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 40 percent good and 10 percent excellent.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; george.ford@sourcemedia.net

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