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Northey comments on weekly crop report

Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:07 a.m. CDT

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

“Farmers were very busy in the fields last week with nearly half of expected corn acres being planted, about 7 million acres, and almost 20 percent of soybeans being planted, or about 2 million acres,” Northey said.  “The rain we received was good for the crop in the ground but is a challenge for those still needing to get crops planted.”

The report summary follows here:

Optimal conditions allowed almost half of the expected corn acreage to be planted in Iowa during the week ending May 11, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average temperatures were above normal for the week, while average precipitation was below normal.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 10 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 9 percent very short, 26 percent short, 60 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. Northwest Iowa remained the driest with almost one-third of topsoil reported as very short or short of moisture. 

Planting advanced rapidly at the beginning of the week. Seventy percent of the expected corn acreage was planted, 8 days ahead of last year but equal to the normal pace. Corn was slow to emerge with only 9 percent of the acreage emerged, 20 percentage points less than average. Soybean planting was 20 percent complete, advancing 19 percentage points from last week and only 2 days behind normal. 

Pasture condition rated 6 percent very poor, 12 percent poor, 40 percent fair, 35 percent good and 7 percent excellent.