Iowa farmers took advantage of agreeable weather and made significant planting progress this past week. As of May 14, USDA’s latest weekly statewide survey shows 85% of the state’s 2017 corn acreage and 42% of the soybeans have now been planted. This spring’s corn planting progress is two days behind last year, but four days ahead of the five-year average.
“That nearly one-third of the 23 million acres of Iowa’s corn and soybeans can be planted in one week is a true testament to the hard work, skill and efficiency of our state’s farmers,” says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.
More than 80% of the state has adequate soil moisture, and 82% of pastures and rangelands are in good to excellent condition.
The complete weekly crop and weather report is available from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship or from USDA. The report summary follows.
Summary of crop report
It was a dry week across much of Iowa for the week ending May 14, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork, up more than a day from the previous week. This allowed farmers to plant one-third of the state’s expected 2017 corn acreage and just under one-third of the state’s expected soybean acreage. The dry and warm weather also aided crop emergence.
Topsoil moisture levels rated zero percent very short, 1% short, 86% adequate and 13% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated zero percent very short, 1% short, 84% adequate and 15% surplus. Similar to last week, the southwest and south-central crop reporting districts reported the largest percentages of surplus subsoil moisture.
42% of soybean crop planted
As of May 14, the survey shows 85% of Iowa’s corn crop has been planted, two days behind last year, but four days ahead of the five-year average for the first time this year. Farmers in the central and north-central districts have over 90% of their corn planted. Statewide, 28% of corn has emerged, six days behind last year, and three days behind average. Looking at soybeans for 2017, USDA says 42% has been planted, one day behind last year, but two days ahead of average. Oats emerged reached 85%, three days ahead of average. Oat condition is rated 79% good to excellent.
Hay condition is rated 84% good to excellent. Pasture condition is rated 82% good to excellent, with most livestock reported as being out in pastures. Livestock conditions were reported as good.
Weather summary for Iowa
For the week ending May 14, “it was a warm week across Iowa with temperatures ranging from 2 to 3 degrees above normal over parts of northeast Iowa to around 7 degrees above normal over the far southwest, with a statewide average of 4.7 degrees warmer than usual,” says Harry Hillaker, state climatologist for IDALS.
Temperatures reached into the low 90s over far-western Iowa on May 8, with a high of 94 degrees at Little Sioux. The most widespread warm weather arrived on May 13-14, with highs in the 80s nearly statewide on both days. On the other extreme, Spencer reported a low of 35 degrees the morning of May 12.
Statewide rainfall was a little below normal
The reporting week began with dry weather on May 7. Showers and thunderstorms were scattered over the southwest one-half of Iowa the morning of May 8, with locally heavy rain of 1 to 2 inches near Denison southeast to Creston. Additional storms developed the afternoon and night of May 8 across the northeast one-third of the state, although only a few local areas picked up more than one-third of an inch of rain with these storms. May 9 was mostly dry with light rain coming late in the day over the far north.
The bulk of the week’s rain came on May 10, with rain falling over all but far northwest Iowa. Greatest rain amounts with these midweek storms fell across the southeast one-third of Iowa, where reports of 0.67 to 1.5 inches were common. The remainder of the week was dry. No measurable rain fell during the week in far-northwest Iowa at Rock Rapids and Rock Valley, while a maximum reported amount of 3.49 inches fell just east of Anita in Cass County. The statewide average precipitation was 0.89 inch or just a little under the weekly normal of 1.02 inches.