Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
“Farmers were able to make good progress last week and now half of the corn crop is planted statewide, which is good news,” Northey said. “Farmers will be anxious to get the rest of the crop in the ground and take advantage of any dry weather this week to get in the fields.”
Corn planting progressed rapidly in most areas as Iowa’s farmers took full advantage of dry fields early in the week. Corn planting advanced at least 25 percentage points in each district of the state. However, the weather became much cooler and wetter at the end of the week ending planting activities.
There were 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared with just 1.8 days the previous week. Topsoil moisture levels improved to 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 76 percent adequate, and 16 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture also improved and is now rated 7 percent very short, 21 percent short, 65 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus.
Despite receiving rainfall late in the week, corn planting advanced 41 percentage points and now stands at 50 percent complete, compared with 7 percent at this time last year and the five year average of 32 percent. Five percent of the corn crop has emerged, 10 days ahead of normal. The State’s soybean planting is 3 percent complete with Southeast Iowa leading the way with 12 percent planted. Oat planting was 98 percent complete, ahead of last year’s 80 percent and the five-year average of 76 percent. Seventy-six percent of the expected oat acreage has emerged, well ahead of last year’s 38 percent and the five-year average of 36 percent. Oat condition improved to 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 63 percent good, and 11 percent excellent.
Sixty-seven percent of Iowa’s pasture and range land is now rated good to excellent, a 2 percentage point decrease from the previous week. Pasture and range condition rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 47 percent good, and 20 percent excellent.