Ag secretary says farmers have had a good springReport says off of state's corn acreage is planted
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said farmers, despite a late start, are having a good spring sowing the seeds for this year’s crops.
“Overall, this has been a pretty good spring as farmers have gotten crops in the ground in a timely manner and periodic rainfall has helped replenish some needed soil moisture,” Northey said Monday.
All of Iowa’s corn acreage has been planted, according to Northey’s report, and 89 percent of the crop has emerged, 19 percentage points ahead of last year but equal to the five-year average.
“Farmers continued to make good progress between the scattered rain showers and thunderstorms,” Northey continued. “Planting is nearly complete and farmers are spraying for weeds and side dressing nitrogen fertilizer.”
The season’s first corn-rating came in at 0 percent very poor, 1 percent poor, 17 percent fair, 65 percent good and 17 percent excellent.
Soybean planting progress reached 94 percent complete, almost three weeks ahead of last year and two weeks ahead of normal.
Sixty-three percent of the soybean crop has emerged — 42 percent above last year and four percent above average.
With most of the oat acreage emerged, 12 percent of the oat crop was headed, ahead of last year’s 3 percent but 3 percent behind average. Oat condition was rated as 0 percent very poor, 1 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 53 percent good and 10 percent excellent.
The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 22 percent complete, 19 percentage points ahead of last year, but 12 percent less than average. Hay condition was rated 0 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 52 percent good and 17 percent excellent. Pasture condition improved to 2 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 48 percent good and 14 percent excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as above average.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Iowa Crop Progress and Condition’s soil report, topsoil moisture in southeast Iowa tended to be adequate. The report said 67 percent of the topsoil had adequate moisture, 22 percent was short, 7 percent very short and 4 percent of the soil showed surplus topsoil moisture.
Subsoil moisture, however, was another story. The report, issued May 27, rated 38 percent of the subsoil moisture as short and 13 percent very short, or a combined 51 percent of the moisture either short or very short of subsoil moisture. Another 48 percent was adequate and 1 percent had a surplus.
Only northwest Iowa fared worse with 63 percent of the subsoil moisture rated as short or very short.
In his weather summary, State Climatologist Harry Hillaker said temperatures in the state were above normal last week. “Iowa experienced a warm and humid week with scattered thunderstorms nearly every day,” Hillaker reported. “Temperatures were above normal throughout the reporting week with the highest reading on Friday and Saturday (May 30-31).”
Rain totals for the week varied from only a trace at Keosauqua to five inches near Castana in Monona County. Statewide precipitation was 0.66 inches or not quite two-thirds of the weekly normal of 1.07 inches.
Temperature extremes varied from a May 29 low of 49 degrees at Cresco to afternoon highs of 90 degrees Friday at Sibley and Hawarden, and Davenport, Iowa City, Lowden and Sioux Center on Saturday.
Temperatures for the week averaged eight degrees above normal.