DES MOINES -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
"Near perfect weather much of the week allowed corn planting to continue at a record pace," Northey said. "The weekend rains were welcomed in many parts of the state, but some more warm, dry weather will now be necessary before soybean planting begins in earnest."
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov. The report follows here:
Corn planting record pace
Agricultural Summary: Nearly perfect field conditions early in the week promoted one of the most active weeks in Iowa history. Corn planting was in full swing and progressed rapidly with many counties surpassing three-quarters of their corn acres planted. Rainfall late in the week and over the weekend will help activate the chemicals that have been applied, promote the emergence of the newly planted corn crop, and assist the oats that have already emerged. Soybean planting has begun; however, those waiting for temperatures to warm up will now be forced to wait until the ground dries to begin planting. Operators are reporting limited stress on livestock and a good calf crop.
There were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared with 5.3 days last week. Topsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 5 percent short, 74 percent adequate, and 21 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 18 percent surplus.
Field Crops Report: Corn acreage planted was 68 percent complete, increasing from 19 percent last week. The corn acreage planted is 11 days ahead of last year and 13 days ahead of the five-year average. All nine districts in Iowa reported over 55 percent of the corn planted with Central Iowa leading the state with 81 percent. Corn planting in Iowa is now the farthest along, for the last week in April, in recorded history. Soybean acreage planted was 4 percent complete, compared with 2 percent last year and 1 percent for the five-year average. Oat acreage planted was 95 percent complete, ahead of last year's 90 percent and the five-year average of 72 percent. Oat acreage emerged was 59 percent, ahead of last year's 25 percent and the five-year average of 29 percent.
Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 0 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 57 percent good, and 15 percent excellent. Low-lying pastures have seen some flooding and are too muddy to be used. However, with warm temperatures and rainfall, pastures on higher ground continue to green-up and show excellent growth. Conditions are giving farmers the opportunity to continue to transfer their livestock from dry lots and stubble fields.