Planting in Iowa has been slowed by rains the past two weeks but farmers have been able to get 88% of the state’s corn and 43% of the soybean acres planted this spring. That’s according to the latest weekly statewide survey released May 16 by USDA.
The survey shows that only a few days were fit to be in the field last week. Statewide, Iowa saw cool temperatures that have continued into the current week. “However, we’ve still been able to maintain planting progress this spring above average for the state, thanks to the early start in April,” points out Greg Thessen, director of the USDA/NASS office in Des Moines which conducts the weekly survey.
Planting in 2016 is running a day behind last year, but four days ahead of the five-year average. Farmers in north-central and central Iowa are close to completion with 97% or more of the corn crop planted. The May 15 survey shows 51% of corn has emerged statewide, five days ahead of the average.
Corn emergence is slow for acres planted later in April
In southeast Iowa, Washington County farmer Steve Berger completed corn planting in April and now as of May 17 he is two-thirds completed on soybeans. “Cold, wet weather conditions are making corn emergence slow for the corn that was planted later in April,” says Berger. “Our best looking corn is the early planted corn—planted April 11 to 15— because of the warmer weather we had earlier in April this spring. The later planted corn is taking three weeks to emerge due to cold, wet soil conditions. There is still some corn to be planted in southeast Iowa. My neighbor hasn’t finished corn planting yet.”
Some reports of frost in low lying areas this past weekend
CROP REPORT: Wet and cold conditions across much of Iowa slowed fieldwork or even brought it to a standstill for the week ending May 15, 2016, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were just 2.2 days suitable for fieldwork. There were some reports of frost in low-lying areas, especially in the northeast and northwest corners of Iowa.
Topsoil moisture levels rated zero percent very short, 1% short, 82% adequate and 17% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated zero percent very short, 1% short, 83% adequate and 16% surplus. Similar to last week, the western third of Iowa reported the largest percentages of surplus and adequate subsoil moisture levels.
Survey shows 88% of Iowa corn is planted, 43% of soybeans
As of May 15, the survey shows 88% of Iowa’s 2016 corn crop has been planted, a day behind last year, but four days ahead of the five-year average. Farmers in north-central and central Iowa are close to completion with 97% or more of the corn crop planted. The survey shows 51% of corn has emerged, five days ahead of the average.
Looking at Iowa’s soybean crop, 43% of the soybean acreage has been planted, two days ahead of normal. There were scattered reports of some early planted soybeans emerged as of May 15. Oats acreage emerged reached 94%; that’s six days ahead of the previous year and nine days ahead of the average. Oat condition is rated 78% good to excellent.
Hay condition as of May 15 rated 73% good to excellent in Iowa. Pasture condition rated 71% good to excellent; benefitting from the added moisture during the week. Livestock conditions were reported as mostly normal although feedlots were muddy.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending May 15, 2016
By Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Wet and slightly warmer-than-normal weather prevailed across Iowa from Sunday (May 8) through Wednesday (May 11). Rain was widespread on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with about one-half of the week’s total falling on Tuesday. Much cooler weather dominated for the remainder of the reporting week with rain falling over all but far southwest Iowa on Friday (May 13). Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday (May 15) were dry. A light freeze was reported over parts of northwest Iowa on Saturday (May 14) morning with a 30 degree temperature at Sheldon.
Frost was more widespread in northern Iowa on Sunday morning
Freezing weather was more widespread on Sunday (May 15) morning, especially across the northeast where Cresco, Decorah and Elkader all reported 27 degree F minimums. Tuesday and Wednesday were the warmest days with high temperatures of 79 degrees recorded at Lamoni and Osceola on Tuesday and at Burlington on Wednesday. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from 2 degrees below normal southwest to 4 to 6 degrees subnormal over the north.
Western third of Iowa has had above normal rain in recent weeks
Heaviest rains, for the third time in the past four weeks, fell across the western one-third of the state, although there were smaller areas of heavy rain elsewhere (especially east central). Weekly rain totals were above normal over the west one-third of the state, and parts of east-central and southeast Iowa. Weekly rain totals varied from 0.31 inches at Eldora to 4.55 inches at Shenandoah. The statewide average precipitation was 1.45 inches while normal for the week is 1.03 inches. Soil temperatures at the 4-inch depth were averaging in the low 50s north and middle and upper 50s south as of Sunday (May 15).