Near perfect weather much of last week allowed corn planting to continue at a record pace this spring. Iowa's 2010 corn crop was 68% planted as of April 25, according to the government's weekly weather and crop report. The results of the statewide survey, conducted by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service, were compiled and released on April 26.
That 68% completed mark is quite a jump for one week. The weekend before, farmers only had 19% of the Iowa corn crop in the ground--by April 18.
The weekend rains that fell across Iowa on April 24 and 25 and then continued on April 26 were welcomed in many parts of the state. But now more, warm, dry weather will be necessary before soybean planting begins in earnest. The weekly report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov.
Nationwide farmers already have half of U.S. corn crop planted
USDA says nationwide farmers were 50% finished planting the 2010 U.S. corn crop as of April 25. That easily surpasses the previous record planting pace of 37% set in 2004. Last year farmers were just 20% done with corn planting in the U.S. by April 25, and the 5-year average is just 22% for that same date.
"Farmers north, south, east and west were all out planting corn the past two weeks, and many are already done," says Terry Jones, who farms 6,000 acres near Williamsburg and is vice president of Russell Consulting Group at Panora. "We are off to the earliest and best start ever on corn planting." The accelerated progress will improve the yield potential for U.S. corn, says Jones.
Nearly perfect field conditions aid planting progress this spring
This week's USDA weekly weather and crop report says nearly perfect field conditions early in the week of April 18 to 25 promoted one of the most active weeks for fieldwork in Iowa history. Corn planting was in full swing and progressed rapidly with many counties surpassing 75% of their corn acres planted. Rainfall late in the week and over the weekend of April 24-25 will help activate the chemicals that have been applied, promote the emergence of the newly planted corn crop, and assist the oats that have already emerged.
Soybean planting has begun in Iowa; however, those farmers waiting for temperatures to warm up will now be forced to wait until the ground dries to begin planting. Farmers are reporting limited stress on livestock and a good calf crop.
There were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork the past week in Iowa compared with 5.3 days the previous week. Topsoil moisture rated zero percent very short, 5% short, 74% adequate, and 21% surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated zero percent very short, 2% short, 80% adequate and 18% surplus.
All crop reporting districts report over 55% of corn planting done
Corn acreage planted as of April 25, 2010 was 68% complete, increasing from 19% on April 18. The corn acreage planted is 11 days ahead of last year and 13 days ahead of the 5-year average. All nine districts in Iowa reported over 55% of the corn planted with Central Iowa leading the state with 81%. Corn planting in Iowa is now the farthest along, for the last week in April, in recorded history.
Soybean acreage planted was 4% complete on April 25, 2010 in Iowa, compared with 2% last year and 1% for the 5-year average. Oat acreage planted was 95% complete, ahead of last year's 90% and the 5-year average of 72%. Oat acreage emerged was 59%, ahead of last year's 25% and the 5-year average of 29%.
The Iowa weekly weather and crop survey also gives a livestock and pasture conditions report. Pasture and range condition rated zero percent very poor, 3% poor, 25% fair, 57% good and 15% excellent. Low-lying pastures have seen some flooding and are too muddy to be used. However, with warm temperatures and rainfall, pastures on higher ground continue to green-up and show excellent growth. Conditions are giving farmers the opportunity to continue to transfer their livestock from dry lots and stubble fields.