USDA Survey Shows Iowa Corn, Soybean Planting Still Behind Normal

USDA Survey Shows Iowa Corn, Soybean Planting Still Behind Normal

USDA survey shows farmers had only 15% of state's 2013 corn crop planted as of May 12, far below the 5-year average of 79%.

Normally, 79% of Iowa's corn acreage would be planted as of May 12. But this year it was only 15%, thanks to continued wet and chilly weather this past week. Only 1% of the state's soybean crop is in the ground, while usually 30% would be planted by this time. However, a weather warm-up during the week of May 13 to 20 is expected to speed up the planting pace.

Those planted acreage estimates are based on the weekly Iowa Crops & Weather report issued by the Iowa office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service in Des Moines. This latest weekly statewide survey data was compiled on May 12 and the report was released May 13.

SLOWLY BUT SURELY: Iowa nearly doubled its planted acres for corn from 8% the week before to 15% completed as of May 12. Illinois jumped from 7% planted to 17% in a week. Indiana tripled its planted corn acres from 8% to 30%. Corn emergence is lagging too—Iowa is only 1% emerged, Illinois and Nebraska 2% and Indiana 3% as of May 12.

"The wet conditions this past week continued to keep many farmers out of their fields and the planting pace is well-behind the 5-year average," notes Greg Thessen, director of the USDA/NASS office in Iowa. Hopefully it will remain dry this week and farmers will be able to make significant planting progress. Everyone is reminded to stay safe on the farm and on rural roadways during this extremely busy time in agriculture.

What are the final crop insurance dates for late planting of crops this year?

Nationally, planting is also running way behind. Only 28% of the corn is planted in the 18 key corn producing states; that's less than half of the 65% usually planted by May 12. Soybean planting is way behind with only one-fourth the number of acres planted in the key soybean producing states versus what is normal for the 5-year average.

Some farmers are asking about final planting dates for crop insurance purposes. That final planting date for corn in Iowa is May 31. In the Dakotas and Nebraska, their final dates are coming up a little sooner—May 25. The final planting date is when farmers can choose to put corn into the "prevented planting" provision of the crop insurance program. They would receive 60% of the guarantee. Farmers don't want to go there, but if the crop is planted after a certain date, of course, the yield potential goes down.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~

Some areas of the Corn Belt this spring, especially Minnesota, are being watched very closely by the crop insurance industry—as that northern state is reporting record slow planting progress. Their final planting date is May 31 in the southern half and May 25 in the northern half of Minnesota.

In Iowa, the final planting date for crop insurance for soybeans is June 15, so there is a lot of time to get the bean crop planted in Iowa before that deadline.

The weekly Crops & Weather report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website or on USDA's site. The report summary follows here:

CROP REPORT: Wet conditions during the week ending May 12, 2013 continued to hinder planting progress in Iowa, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Moisture received on Wednesday and Thursday brought a halt to field activities. In areas of Iowa that received less moisture, some fields dried enough for farmers to resume fieldwork by the end of the week. There was an average of 1.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 12. Fieldwork included planting, tilling, and application of fertilizers and herbicides.

Topsoil moisture levels are currently rated 1% very short, 4% short, 68% adequate and 27% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels are rated 4% very short, 20% short and 63% adequate and 13% surplus.

This is first year since 1993 that less than 20% of Iowa corn acres were planted by May 12

As of May 12 only 15% of Iowa's corn acreage has been planted compared with 86% at this time last year and the 5-year average of 79%. This is the first year since 1993 that less than 20% of the state's corn acres were planted by May 12. Soybean planting was 1% compete, well behind last year's 34% and the 5-year average of 30%. This is the latest start to soybean planting since 1995. Oat planting was 81% complete as of May 12; at this time last year oat planting was complete. The survey shows 45% of Iowa's oat acreage has emerged, well behind last year's 94% and the 5-year average of 77%.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~

Pasture and range condition statewide is currently rated 10% very poor, 17% poor, 37% fair and 31% good and 5% excellent.

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending May 12, 2013

By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

The past reporting week began with temperatures slightly above normal from Monday (May 6) through Thursday (May 9) but with sharply colder weather for the weekend. Temperatures climbed to 80 degrees F at a few eastern Iowa locations on Tuesday May 7 and to 81 degrees at Cresco, Dubuque Lock #11 and Keokuk on Wednesday. However, a freeze was reported over much of Iowa on Sunday (May 12) morning with 23 degree minimums reported at Battle Creek, Sibley and Spencer. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 2.1 degrees below normal.

Meanwhile, dry weather prevailed over most of the state on Monday and Tuesday with a period of rain beginning in western Iowa Tuesday night and finally exiting eastern areas Friday morning. Heaviest rains fell Wednesday night with localized amounts of two inches in a narrow band from Council Bluffs to Ames. Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.02 inches at Hamburg in far southwest Iowa to 2.58 inches near Jamaica in Guthrie County. The statewide average precipitation was 0.72 inches while normal for the week is 1.00 inches.

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