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Northey comments on Iowa crops

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

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.

"Between showers farmers have been able to make significant planting progress the last three weeks and moved ahead of the five year average for both corn and soybean planting," Northey said.

The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report follows here:

Planting progress surpasses 2010

In spite of part of the State having less than 3 days suitable for fieldwork, 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.

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 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 79 percent adequate, and 20 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 81 percent adequate, and 18 percent surplus.

Ninety-eight percent of Iowa's corn acreage has been planted, equal to last year but ahead of the five-year average of 94 percent. Only south central Iowa has more than 5 percent of their corn crop remaining to be planted. Seventy-four percent of the State's corn crop has emerged, behind last year's 81 percent, but ahead of the average 67 percent. Soybean planting is 78 percent complete, ahead of last year's 72 percent and the normal pace of 68 percent. South Central is the only district with over half their soybean acreage remaining to be planted. Twenty-one percent of the State's soybean crop has emerged, behind last year's 25 percent but slightly ahead of the five-year average of 19 percent. A few scattered fields of oats remain to be planted and 98 percent of the oat acreage has emerged. Oat condition rated 0 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 18 percent fair, 66 percent good, and 14 percent excellent.

Pasture and range condition improved to 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 50 percent good, and 17 percent excellent. In spite of additional rain across the State, no reports of excessively muddy feedlots were received and livestock conditions remain favorable.

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