Between rain showers, Iowa farmers have been able to make significant progress the last three weeks and moved ahead of the 5-year average for both corn and soybean planting. The USDA's weekly survey released May 23 shows Iowa farmers had 98% of the state's 2011 corn crop planted as of May 22, and 78% of the soybeans were in the ground.
Elsewhere, in key crop growing states, the pace of corn planting has picked up but still lags behind 5-year averages. Only 79% of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of Sunday May 22, 2011, an improvement over the 61% from a week ago but still below the 5-year average of 87% on this date.
Minnesota advanced its corn planting from 47% to 81% finished on Sunday. Illinois progressed from 61% from a week ago to 90% completed. Missouri, hit by flooding along the Mississippi River, is 88% completed.
Planting in eastern Corn Belt and some other areas still lagging
Planting in the eastern Corn Belt has been slowed by record rainfall. Indiana, which was 7% planted a week earlier, advanced to 49% planted as of May 22. Ohio continues to lag the most, with only 11% of its corn planted. North Dakota has 49% of its crops planted and South Dakota is now at 73% planted. The two states are expected to bring in much of the 4 million additional corn acres in 2011 to help boost the nation's corn supply.
On May 23 the Chicago Board of Trade corn contract for July delivery dipped 5 cents a bushel to $7.54, but the December contract, which prices this year's crop, rose 4 cents to $6.70 a bushel.
The weekly Iowa Crop & Weather survey report is released each Monday afternoon by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service or NASS. The complete report is available at www.nass.usda.gov/ia and it is also on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov. Following is a summary of the May 23 report.
Despite slow start, Iowa's 2011 planting progress surpasses 2010
In spite of part of Iowa having less than 3 days suitable for fieldwork this past week, corn and soybean planting progress managed to meet or surpass the quick pace of 2010. Farmers would appreciate some dry, warm weather to help speed emergence, although good stands are reported where crops have emerged. Most of the week's rain was not heavy; however, areas in central, east central, and southwest Iowa reported receiving hail during the week and tornadoes were reported in six Iowa counties on Sunday.
(Jessie, please insert corn planting progress chart here—or somehere)
There were 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. East central Iowa led the way with 5.4 days suitable while south central Iowa had only 2.1 days suitable. Topsoil moisture levels rated zero percent very short, 1% short, 79% adequate and 20% surplus. Subsoil moisture rated zero percent very short, 1% short, 81% adequate and 18% surplus.
As of May 23, 98% of Iowa's corn acreage has been planted, equal to last year but ahead of the 5-year average of 94%. Only south central Iowa has more than 5% of their corn crop remaining to be planted. Looking at corn emergence, 74% of the state's corn crop has emerged, behind last year's 81% at this time, but ahead of the average 67%.
Soybean planting is 78% complete, ahead of last year's 72% and the normal pace of 68%. South Central is the only district with over half their soybean acreage remaining to be planted. Statewide, 21% of Iowa's soybean crop has emerged, behind last year's 25% but slightly ahead of the 5-year average of 19%. A few scattered fields of oats remain to be planted and 98% of the oat acreage has emerged. Oat condition rates zero percent very poor, 2% poor, 18% fair, 66% good and 14% excellent.
Pasture and range condition in Iowa as of May 23 improved to 1% very poor, 6% poor, 26% fair, 50% good and 17% excellent. In spite of additional rain across the state this past week, no reports of excessively muddy feedlots were received and livestock conditions remain favorable.
Iowa preliminary weather summary as of May 23
Following is the weather summary for this past week, compiled on May 23, 2011 by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist at the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship in Des Moines.
The past weather reporting week began with cool and dry weather with high temperatures mostly in the 60's on Monday May 16, Tuesday (17th) and Wednesday (18th). A light freeze was recorded at a few scattered eastern Iowa locations on Monday (16th) morning. Showers and thunderstorms were widespread from Thursday (19th) evening through Saturday (21st) morning.
There was a brief break in the rain Saturday before storms redeveloped Saturday evening and continued into Sunday morning. A few of the Saturday evening storms brought high winds and large hail to parts of western and southwestern Iowa. Strong thunderstorms developed over portions of eastern Iowa on Sunday afternoon and evening with severe storms reported in 18 counties. Rain totals of one to two inches were common for the week over the western two-thirds of the state while totals were much lower over parts of far eastern Iowa.
Weekly totals varied from only 0.14 inches at Cascade to 3.45 inches at Estherville. The statewide average precipitation was 1.16 inches or a little more than the weekly normal of 0.97 inches. Meanwhile, temperatures climbed above normal over the weekend with highs climbing into the 80's over much of southern and eastern Iowa. Temperature extremes for the week ranged from Monday (16th) morning lows of 30 degrees at Lowden and Manchester to Sunday (22nd) afternoon highs of 86 degrees at Burlington and Keosauqua. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 1.2 degrees below normal. Soil temperatures as of Sunday May 22 were averaging in the lower 60's statewide.