DES MOINES Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey 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.
"Most farmer are holding off on corn planting until the crop insurance deadline this Wednesday, but I expect it to advance quickly if the weather remains this agreeable," Northey said. "Much of the state remains fairly dry and farmers could use some rain to replenish soil moisture levels."
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
As Iowa's crop insurance plant date for corn slowly approaches (April 11), farmers are excited about getting planting underway. Most of the week's rain occurred in the southeast corner of the state. The week's most common field activities were application of anhydrous, tiling, and leveling of last year's cornstalks.
There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the past week. Statewide soil moisture levels are still a big concern with most farmers hoping for rain before corn planting gets underway. Topsoil moisture levels rated 12 percent very short, 31 percent short, 55 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Northwest Iowa continues to be the driest area in the State with 78 percent short to very short for topsoil moisture. Iowa's subsoil moisture rated 18 percent very short, 33 percent short, 47 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.
With only 1 percent of the corn planted across the state, farmers look forward to widespread planting. Oat acreage planted was 75 percent complete, well beyond both last year's 29 percent and the five-year average of 21 percent. Twenty-three percent of the oat acreage has emerged which is 16 days ahead of normal.
Pasture and range condition rated 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 47 percent good, and 21 percent excellent. Warm temperatures meant less stress on livestock this spring and gave livestock the chance to graze pastures early.