Farmers have 14% of Iowa's 2015 corn crop in the ground, according to USDA's weekly statewide survey conducted April 26. That's a little ahead of last year but 4 days behind the 5-year average. Farmers in central Iowa are leading the way with more than one-fourth of their corn crop planted.
Across the state, a lot of corn will be planted this week if the current weather forecast holds. "We are in the field up here in northeast Iowa," says Chris Edgington of St. Ansgar, chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. "Farmers are applying anhydrous, applying preplant herbicides, seeding oats and some are beginning to plant corn. It looks like we're going to have a great week and we should get a lot of corn planted."
Corn planters will be rolling across fields this week in Iowa
"Fieldwork and planting slowed with the cool wet weather last week in Iowa, but corn planting will begin in earnest now with several days of warm, dry weather forecast for this week," observes Greg Thessen, director of the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service in Des Moines. He oversees the weekly crop survey.
"It's been a hit-and-miss spring for fieldwork so far," reports Clarke McGrath, Iowa State University Extension agronomist at Harlan in western Iowa. "But yesterday brought a fair amount of activity, and there will be a lot of tractors and planters in fields this week if this favorable weather forecast comes true."
Rain and cool weather slowed Iowa corn planters last week
The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress & Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's website www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
CROP REPORT: Rain events and cool weather slowed planting in Iowa during the week ending April 26, 2015, according to USDA's National Ag Statistics Service office in Des Moines. Statewide there were 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included manure hauling, tillage, anhydrous application and limited planting.
Topsoil moisture levels improved to zero percent very short, 10% short, 80% adequate and 10% surplus. It was the first April week since 2011 with no topsoil rated very short. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2% very short, 14% short, 80% adequate and 4% surplus.
Most of Iowa has adequate-to-surplus subsoil moisture
As of April 26 in Iowa, 14% of the state's corn acreage has been planted, just ahead of last year, but 4 days behind the 5-year average. Farmers in central Iowa led the way with more than 25% of their corn crop now planted.
Iowa's oat crop for 2015 is 85% planted, almost two weeks ahead of last year, and 1 week ahead of average. Oats emerged reached 41%, 9 days ahead of last year, and 1 day ahead of normal. North central and northeast Iowa lagged behind, with only 22% and 23% of oats emerged, respectively.
Pasture condition in Iowa has improved to 56% good to excellent. Pastures continued to green up last week, though cool weather has slowed growth. Cattle and hog conditions were reported as good. Poultry producers were concerned with the recent outbreak of avian influenza.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—For week ending April 26, 2015
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
The past reporting week brought unseasonably cool weather throughout the week with the exception of far northwest Iowa where temperatures climbed above normal on Friday (April 24). Freezes were widespread on Wednesday (April 22) and Thursday (April 23) mornings with scattered freezes on Tuesday (April 21) and Saturday (April 25) mornings. Temperatures fell as low as 23 degrees at Sibley on Wednesday morning, 22 degrees at Cresco, Decorah and Elkader on Thursday morning and 24 degrees at Elkader on Saturday morning. A hard freeze occurred as far south as the Missouri border on Thursday morning in valley bottom locations. On the other extreme, Friday afternoon temperatures reached 76 degrees at Hawarden and Sioux City.
Iowa's average temperature last week was 6.2 degrees below normal
Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from two degrees below normal over the far northwest to eight degrees below normal across the northeast one-third of Iowa. The statewide average temperature for the week was 6.2 degrees below normal.
Meanwhile, there was some light rain across northeast and east central Iowa on Monday (April 20) morning and also on Tuesday over parts of southwest and south central Iowa. However, nearly all of the week's rain fell between Friday morning and Saturday morning with greatest amounts across the southern one-half of the state.
Weekly rain totals varied from just a trace at Cherokee, Rock Rapids and Sheldon in northwest Iowa to 1.61 inches at Camanche (Clinton County along Iowa's eastern edge). The statewide average precipitation was 0.54 inches while normal for the week is 0.93 inches. Soil temperatures at the four inch depth were averaging near fifty degrees as of Sunday (April 26).