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comments on Iowa crops and weather

Published: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:05 a.m. CDT

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented Monday on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. 

“The wet conditions last week kept many farmers out of the field and with more significant rainfall forecast it will take several days with warm dry weather before fields are fit and farmers are able to start planting again,” Northey said.  “Of the expected corn acres 15 percent have been planted, which is around 2 million acres, and shows again that farmers can make a lot of progress in a short period when conditions allow.”

Wet conditions continued to slow down fieldwork in Iowa during the week ending April 27, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Cool soil temps remain a concern for farmers planting in the northern part of the State. Statewide there were 3.0 days suitable for fieldwork. Other activities for the week included applying fertilizers and herbicides.

Recent precipitation improved soil moisture levels. Topsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 15 percent short, 67 percent adequate and 14 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 14 percent very short, 36 percent short, 46 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.

Planting progress was ahead of the previous year’s progress, but still trailed behind the five year average. Planting for oats was at 68 percent complete, 26 percentage points ahead of last year but 13 percentage points behind average. Twenty-four percent of oats had emerged, ahead of last year’s 10 percent, but 18 percentage points behind the five-year average. Fifteen percent of the expected corn acreage was planted, 13 percentage points ahead of last year but 18 percentage points behind average.

Pasture condition rated 10 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 44 percent fair, 24 percent good and 3 percent excellent.